In 2012, a handful of friends, neighbors, and musicians with a shared passion for protecting God’s creation and a shared curiosity about A Rocha gathered in a Nashville living room to talk about ways to care for their place.
Each A Rocha project takes shape around the skills, desires, and needs of local people. Nashville boasts an eclectic bunch—residents range from young professionals to children to artists to college students to retirees to doctors to underprivileged families trying to hang on in a gentrifying city.
The landscape is just as varied with urban, suburban, and rural areas woven together. While it is home to a rapidly growing number of people, Nashville is also home to the Carolina Chickadee, the Pearl Crescent Butterfly, and over twenty different species of salamander. The Cumberland river runs west near our famous Opry, loops around historic East Nashville, and winds through a 960-acre nature preserve before passing through downtown.
Nashville is both diverse and biodiverse. Poet or grandmother, seed or salamander, we are part of the same ecosystem.
From that very first meeting, it became clear that Nashville A Rocha would focus on practical, hands-on conservation work, education, and the arts. We started with a small pilot group planting rain gardens, a week of A Rocha’s Creation Care Camp in a backyard, and a songwriting retreat to tap into the gifts of our community.
From there, we moved into Know Your Place walks to help Nashville residents learn about what lives in our place and how best to care for it. Several local churches now host Creation Care Camp.
Through partnerships with Cumberland River Compact and the Master Gardeners of Davidson County, we have facilitated the planting of 33 rain gardens in Nashville yards since 2014, and we have expanded into a number of Conservation@Home programs, including a pollinator garden workshop for 2017. We have hosted several more songwriting and arts retreats and released two albums of music to stir the church to a deeper love of people and place.
We are also expanding into Conservation@Church, finding practical ways for churches in Nashville to come together and care for the world God has made and entrusted to us.
Our hope is to follow Christ’s example of redemption—to restore people and places.
We believe that God has called us each to be good stewards of the earth, we believe that conservation of natural resources is a worshipful response to our creator and an act of love toward our neighbors, and we seek to learn from and partner with others in our city involved in the work of conservation.