Caring for Our Environment

As Christians, we believe we have a moral obligation to care for the earth and our environment.

We demonstrate this on our own church campus, which was designed with energy-saving features and environmental sustainability in mind. We are certified as an Earth Care Congregation by the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA). We support organizations such as Presbyterians for Earth Care, the PCUSA Environmental Ministries, and the Orange County Interfaith Coalition for the Environment.


St. Mark is certified as an Earth Care Congregation by Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)’s Environmental Ministries. To become an Earth Care Congregation, St. Mark affirmed the Earth Care Pledge to integrate environmental practices and thinking into all facets of its church life. It also completed projects and activities in the fields of worship, education, facilitiies and outreach. In addition to the use of recyclable paper products and recycling Sunday bulletins, numerous actions have been taken to ensure that St. Mark is as eco-friendly as possible, including:

  • Use of native plants to reduce water consumption, eliminate pesticides, and protect a diversity of wildlife
  • Maintenance and replanting where needed of the coastal sage gnatcatcher habitat
  • Certification from the National Wildlife Federation that the wildlife access corridor in the canyon has been retained
  • State-of-the-art irrigation by a porous tubing system that prevents runoff from the church site
  • A water capture system to remove oil runoff from the church parking lot
  • Use of plant material filtration to clean drainage and runoff water that flow through the site
  • Flow control to regulate the amount of water that returns to the nearby Big Canyon stream
  • Use of local and regional manufactured materials
  • Daylight and views in 90 percent of building spaces to reduce lighting needs
  • Limited use of air conditioning
  • Waterless urinals
  • Very low floor area ratio of buildings to land
  • Planting of 530 trees throughout the property

Some of the native plants found on our Newport Beach church campus and in the adjacent Canyon Nature Preserve include sycamore trees, elderberry, coastal sage scrub, California poppy, Indian hawthorn, tall fescue turf grass, pine, and plants of Mediterranean origin chosen for aesthetic and functional reasons.