Green Sanctuary

earthinhandsMelrose UU Church became a certified Green Sanctuary in 2014.

The Green Sanctuary Committee typically meets on the THIRD Sunday of each month, Sept-June, at 9:00 a.m. before Worship Service, in the church library. The Green Sanctuary Committee is eager to welcome new members who would like to help with a particular event and/or take a more active role in the committee – with that in mind, please let a current member know if 9:00 a.m. Sunday mornings is not a good time for you to meet, and they will do their best to accommodate!

Other Green Sanctuary Activities, past-and-present:

The Committee has sponsored (or co-sponsored) several film series over the years, an Ell Pond Cleanup Day, a Hunger Banquet, and other events. We worked with the Religious Education children to ensure that there are recycling receptacles located throughout the church building, and on Social Justice Sundays, we hold Sustainable Cooking classes with the children. We hold an annual Green Sanctuary Worship Service (typically on Earth Day in April), and provide information to the congregation about local events and sustainable living for inside the home, workplace, and church.

Friends of the Fells – Trail Adopter Program


The Green Sanctuary Committee invites all to join the MUUC’s Trail Adopter group. Through the Friends Of The Fells organization, MUUC has adopted a portion of the Crystal Springs Trail at the Middlesex Fells Reservation, abutting Melrose and surrounding communities. Trail Adopters are responsible for basic trail maintenance and keeping the trail free of litter and clear of fallen branches or brush. The Friends Of The Fells suggests doing cleanups at least two or three times a year, ideally in the fall after the leaves are down and in the spring after the snow has melted. Our Green Sanctuary plans to organize at least one cleanup walk each season.

Green Sanctuary will announce cleanup walks ahead of time, and all are feel to join for one or all of the cleanups as you are willing and able.

All Trail Adopters are responsible for their own safety and are required to sign a Liability Waiver Form. Parents or guardians must sign for children under age 18.

The Green Sanctuary Committee will have a supply of liability waiver forms on hand when we do our walks. Some parts of the trail may be steep or rocky, so please dress appropriately. Our walks will be on our part of the Crystal Springs trail from Pond Street to where it meets the Whip Hill trail.

If you’d like to find out more about the Trail Adopter Program, you can download the Trail Adopter Handbook at:

Compost Program:

The Green Sanctuary Committee organizes the Compost program at MUUC. Sunday morning coffee grounds and any other compostable fruit or veggie scraps are collected after coffee hour. Look for a blue “compost bucket” near the kitchenette upstairs. The bucket is to be taken home the same day it is filled. If you would like take a turn bringing the bucket home, just empty the bucket into your compost pile, rinse the bucket and bring it back for the following Sunday. There is a sign-up sheet posted on the Green Sanctuary bulletin board in Parish Hall. Several members of the committee are experienced composters and we would all be glad to answer your questions.

Solar Panels: 

In 2015, we put Solar Panels on our South-facing roof!! Take a look!! (username and password are noted on the left-side of the page, feel free to log in and check on current solar energy activity!)

Hurricane Season: Continued…

We’re not out of the (woods) WIND, yet. Official hurricane season extends from June 1 to November 30. Many climatologists think that hot, warming oceans might make storms like Matthew more common. And research shows that a hotter planet might create the perfect weather conditions for forming exceptionally strong, dangerous cyclones. Large land masses and cooler waters currently help buffer North Atlantic coasts from most intense hurricanes. But as air and sea temperatures rise, hurricane paths might become less predictable, and could shift northward.

Even if global warming hadn’t caused Katrina, clearly it had intensified the damage; with higher sea levels, come higher storm surges. And with sea surface temperatures rising, there is more energy to fuel hurricanes. And more evaporation, which provides more rain. Surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico were as much as seven degrees warmer than the long term average.

The United States needs to prepare for a future in which storms like those of this current hurricane season become the norm. Unfortunately.

Submitted by Phyllis C, Green Sanctuary Committee (from Christian Science Monitor Weekly 9/11/17)