Our Garden is Bugged!

Posted by Union Chapel Communications Team on

With all the concern in the news about the potential extinction of Monarch butterflies and bees, it might bring a little joy to your heart to hear that our Creation Care Ministry is bearing fruit other than vegetables...

Last week, Tobacco Hookworms (the larval stage of the Hummingbird Moth) were discovered gleefully munching on the pepper plants in our Community Garden. This was of no worry to Megan Sharp, Director of STRIVE Worldwide and the leader of our Creation Care Teams. "That's the reason why we don't plant monocultures," she said with a smile. Since they have exhausted the leaves of the pepper plants, the caterpillars have been rehomed to the tomatoes, as there are plenty of leaves for them in the waning of that crop.

Next to the peppers, the celery has been hosting the Black Swallowtail Butterfly's larvae.

And, in the Memorial Garden, the flowers are providing food for the caterpillars of the endangered Monarch Butterfly.

We're not too worried about the loss of a few pepper plants because these caterpillars are not only fun to watch but they serve a critical purpose; Butterflies and other pollinators including bees, moths, birds, and bats pollinate over 75% of the world’s flowering plants. Domestic honey bees alone pollinate approximately $19 billion worth of crops in the U.S. each year. We depend on what these pollinators do to help plants reproduce which helps strengthen ecosystems and maintain life-sustaining biological diversity in nature. 

Union Chapel seeks to provide habitat in a park like setting for pollinators and other creatures on our 5-acre campus through:

- Native Prairie Restoration

 The existing meditation bench will be surrounded by lush native grasses and wildflowers that will support pollinators and wildlife while providing human members of the community with a natural space for solace, meditation, and communion with creation.

- Community Garden and Food Forest
A food forest featuring native tree varieties will be established on the north lawn, serving as a beautiful and bountiful backdrop to a new community garden that will provide growing space and fresh produce for members of the surrounding community.

If you're interested in participating on one of the Creation Care teams, contact Megan at