When the Diocese of Orange acquired Christ Cathedral campus in 2013 drought mitigation strategies and technologies were not in place. The Diocese, however, has implemented short and long-term strategies to reduce water consumption throughout the 34-acre campus.
Immediate strategies include:
- All newly renovated areas are being watered through a drip line system.
- Current landscaping is being replaced with drought tolerant plants in all newly renovated spaces.
- Water irrigation has been reduced to 85% on the islands in the parking lots.
- The mount of water for lawn areas has been reduced and a biodegradable green spray is being used on the brown patches to make the lawn look green.
- Nutrients are added to the lawn areas that create deeper root structures allowing the lawns to be more drought resistant.
- The campus is using the California Conservation water methods for cycle starts.
Longer-term water conservation strategies include:
- Studying the feasibility of replacing some lawns (Christ Cathedral Academy) with artificial turf
- As the exterior spaces of the campus evolve, drought tolerance and conservation is a key design pillar.
Prior to the Pope’s call for “Care for creation,” the Diocese of Orange, beginning in 2008, called attention to the harmful effects of global climate change and asked its 1.2 million parishioners to commit to taking steps in their personal lives to protect the environment and reduce their impact on global climate change.
The Diocese has promoted the St. Francis Pledge as part of the annual Blessing of the Waves in Huntington Beach, Calif., an interfaith environmental observance started by the Diocese of Orange.
The Roman Catholic Church has a deep love and respect for the natural environment and has worked to protect and honor the natural world for millennia. Pope Francis, and before him Pope Benedict, have repeatedly called on Catholics to lead in caring for the natural world.
Pope Benedict commented during his 2009 Easter message; “Before it is too late, it is necessary to make courageous decisions that can recreate a strong alliance between humankind and the earth. A decisive ‘yes’ is needed to protect creation and also a strong commitment to invert those trends which risk leading to irreversibly degrading situations.”