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Showing posts from January, 2013

Good News for the Land

What does cutting down the invasive shrub autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) on a cold Saturday in January have to do with the Gospel?  Quite a bit, it turns out.
     My family has been trying to figure out a way to incorporate community service (a bland phrase, if ever there was one) into our monthly schedule.  So, for our first attempt I took my wife and children to Island Lake State Park in SE Michigan to help restore (in a very small way) an oak savanna.  An oak savanna (or as the old timers called it "oak barrens") was one of a few landscape types found in lower Michigan prior to European/American settlement.  Essentially, it's a prairie with some oaks scattered here and there.  The Indians maintained prairies by setting the land afire occasionally to keep them relatively treeless.  Thus providing habitat for the largest food source available--the American bison.  The Western way of farming (which has fed all of us) destroyed prairies and, of course, drove out…