Roots and Wings, the sustainable living initiative of South Church in Dobbs Ferry, offers green spirituality programs, gardening workshops and permaculture presentations. Our goal is to learn how to feed our bodies, regenerate the environment and nourish our spirits.  

Roots and Wings receives support from the Vision 2020 Fund of the Hudson River Presbytery. All programs are open to the public and held at South Church, 343 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, NY. 

This vision collage, created by Roots & Wings' original steering committee, represents our intentions to use less resources, move toward growing some of our own food, and, along the way, have more meaningful shared experiences . . . ones that connect us with each other and with the divine. 

Labyrinth Garden design by Alex Orlowski

The first symbol and workspace ofRoots and Wings is a 22’ circular Labyrinth Garden on South Presbyterian Church’s front lawn, on well-traveled Route 9. The labyrinth design was chosen for its irresistible call to prayer; the permaculture garden envisioned because it weaves together all the elements of sustainability.

The second workspace is the Kitchen Garden, on south western edge of South Church's property, along Oak Street. It's sunny location makes it a perfect place to grow vegetables. Since the summer it was put it, it has supplemented South Church’s Food Pantry and all involved have benefited from working together as a community and learning to use materials and energy wisely and in a way that replenishes.

Kitchen Garden design by Juan Taiano


Roots and Wings was partially inspired by the Climate Leadership Summit sponsored by the Dobbs Ferry’s Task Force on Energy and the Environment in spring 2010. One of the challenges from that evening was for a group to lead the way—to show how to compost, collect water, garden, and use less.

“There’s s huge awakening in the rivertowns about preserving the land,” says Roots and Wings member and Dobbs Ferry resident Alex Orlowski. “Even if they have a very small backyard, people want to do the right thing.”

Roots and Wings is also a natural outgrowth of South Church’s ministry of welcome. The congregation’s mission statement is “None of the lines which divide us outside of these walls apply.” They’ve embodied this in the past by welcoming homed and homeless, gay and straight, rich and poor, members and non-members. Roots and Wings will broaden this further by beginning to erase lines between those who find God within the walls of the church and those who become part of a new, emerging spiritual community.

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