Churches unite in Grape Drive project

·3 min read

Sep. 22—MOSES LAKE — The median strip running down the middle of a portion of Grape Drive got some new trees and gravel thanks to a joint effort by three local churches and the City of Moses Lake.

About 65 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Moses Lake Alliance Church and Patriot Church spent two Saturdays in September removing juniper bushes and dead trees and then conditioning the soil, laying landscape fabric, planting new trees and putting in a gravel bed in the median strip of Grape Drive from the intersection of Central Drive south to roughly the Vintage Apartments, according to Dennis Draleau, communications director for the LDS Church's Moses Lake Stake.

"It took two days because we could not do it all in one day," Draleau said.

Draleau said Moses Lake Stake members were looking for a service project to do this year given COVID-19 restrictions prevented church members from engaging in any big projects in the previous two years. Local stake leaders contacted the Moses Lake City Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department and came up with the idea of redoing a portion of the Grape Drive median.

Since Grape Drive is home to both the Moses Lake Alliance Church and Patriot Church, Draleau said they sounded out both congregations to see if they would be willing to help.

"Patriot Church and the Alliance Church were happy to oblige," he said.

"Patriot Church is about God and Country, so we are always happy to serve our community in as many ways as possible and enjoyed working with other members of our community to help improve the median in front of our church on Grape Drive," said Patriot Church Pastor Aaron Noble.

"Saturday was a great opportunity for me and others from the church to show that we care about our community and that we love the people who live here," said Moses Lake Alliance Church Pastor Mark Roeber.

Bill Aukett, parks maintenance superintendent for the city of Moses Lake, said the city picked the Grape Drive median as the best project for church volunteers to help with. Aukett added that a large number of volunteers from all three congregations showed up on Sept. 10 and again on Sept. 17 to help with the work.

"We are proud of the collaborative work and appreciate the hard work and warm spirits of all the community volunteers," Aukett wrote in an email. "I look forward to working with this group of volunteers again."

Draleau said service is important to members of the LDS Church, that it helps church members think outside themselves and about what is good for the community. He also said the three churches working together show what is possible when congregations and confessions can get past their differences and work together for a common, civil good.

"We are trying to work together with other churches to bring about a spirit of fellowship," Draleau said. "It worked out pretty well."

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at cfeatherstone@columbiabasinherald.com.