In 2009, the members of Living Peace Church saw an opportunity. With 3 acres in our front yard doing nothing but being mowed – we saw an opportunity to save money in mowing, reduce our carbon footprint, and give back to the community. We planted a prairie with Ohio native species of grasses and flowers.

With the help of many individuals in and outside the congregation, we were able to convert the front yard into three separate prairie areas. After more than a decade of growth, many different species of grass and flowers have been identified, including prairie coreopsis, a variety of different types of coneflowers, wild bergamot, prairie drop seed, a variety of different species of milkweed, big and little blue stem, false indigo, and side oat gramma.

Planting native species is also a way to help conserve the native plant species locally in central Ohio. And in turn, the birds, bugs, and other critters that enjoy the native plants. It’s not uncommon in the spring to see Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows nest in and around our property.

In addition to the prairie in our “front yard”, our “back yard” is roughly 2-3 acres of native wooded Ohio trees. This unique area is a refuge for many native flowers, plants, wildlife, and also serves as a connector between two neighborhoods via a maintained trail. With nature abundant on our property, we’ve had the opportunity to enjoy the sights of white-tailed deer with their fawns, foxes, Red Tailed and Cooper’s Hawks, rabbits, squirrels (grey, black and even 1 white one), skunks, raccoons, turtles, and a host of different species of birds including Eastern Bluebirds, Tree Swallows, mallards, and Goldfinches.