The Rapidian

CRC Extends its Green Footprint

Trees will be planted, a walking path put in, and a small, gravel parking lot will be installed this summer on a four-acre plot of land that sits next to CRCNA offices.
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Trees will be planted, a walking path put in, and a small, gravel parking lot will be installed this summer on a four-acre plot of land that sits next to the Grand Rapids, Mich., office of the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

Purchased last year at an “exceedingly good price” with funds from a donor, the land was once a ravine that has been filled in over the years by an excavation company, said John Bolt, director of finance and administration for the denomination.

With help from Dave Warners, an environmentalist and professor of biology from Calvin College, CRC employees will begin work soon on the now-empty field and hopefully, said Bolt, finish the project by the end of the summer.

"The trees will help develop a barrier between the land and 28th Street (the busy road running in front of the CRC office)," said Bolt.

The walking path will be made of mulch or some other kind of environmentally friendly material and will be available for exercise for CRC employees. The gravel lot will help to handle overflow parking, which at times is badly needed.

Part of the reason for improving the property was financial. Unless the CRC was actually using the land, the denomination would have had to pay property taxes on it.

But the other reason is that it is part of an ongoing effort for the denomination to "go green."

For instance, Warners from Calvin also helped the CRC when it revamped the heating and cooling system in the Grand Rapids office.

By installing the new, energy-efficient system, the denomination in the last year or so has saved in energy the equivalent of three railroad cars of coal and has cut carbon dioxide emissions by the amount that 179 passenger cars would produce. 

"We're continuously working on being green," said Bolt.  "We're quite a ways ahead of where we had been."

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