Blossom Hill Mennonite Church, Lancaster, PA, takes rain seriously. On March 22, 2008, the congregation sponsored a rain barrel-making day that produced 11 barrels.

Rain barrels enable homeow ners to capture rainwater and save it for later use watering lawns or gardens. A rain barrel cuts down on ground water usage and on the amount of unfiltered stormwater rushing into local streams.

Doug Ehst, a teacher at Lancaster Mennonite Middle School, led the barrel-making endeavor. He says enthusiasm was high and hopes to organize another barrel-making day that will produce 11 more barrels.

Blossom Hill is a congregation of about 120 people, many of whom feel a strong sense of responsibility to care for the earth. Some drive hybrids; others favor cloth diapers as a way to cut down on waste. Recently the group built a new building that is heated and cooled with a ground source heat pump—a highly efficient HVAC system that exchanges heat with the earth rather than the air.