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Growing Community: Engaging Youth through Gardening

An Ontario 150 Grant Summary

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The 2017 Ontario150 Youth Partnership Program was an opportunity for Ontario youth to participate in their communities in ways that would reflect their creativity, cultural expression, diversity, environmental stewardship, entrepreneurship, and civic engagement.

St. John’s Meadow Cemetery Quiet Garden

St. John's Meadow Cemetery

***French version follows – La version en français suit***

St. John’s Anglican Church South March, is a small, well-maintained limestone church on the periphery of Ottawa, Canada that was first established in 1832. It is located on a large parcel of land and has an adjacent heritage cemetery as well as a newer one. Now it is located in the miSt. John's Meadow Cemetery Garden htm_html_2d8230b840e4df43dst of suburban Kanata. Large sugar maples were planted in the old cemetery many years ago and they help to create a park land that is a peaceful place to walk. Many of the graves are lovingly tended.  

Tucker House Youth Garden | Jardin-Jeune de la Maison Tucker

Tucker House Youth Garden

Tucker House is one of three youth gardens in Ottawa participating in Faith & The Common Good’s “Growing Community” Garden program funded by Ontario 150 Youth Partnership Program. Tucker House is located in Rockland, ON. This centre focuses on environmental teaching and host Summer Camps for kids and teenagers. Over spring and summer, the kids learned about, created and took care of the gardens. Below is the testimonial of one of the young gardener, Erin Whittingham.

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Current Projects in Ottawa

We are excited to have participated in Canada’s and Ontario’s 150th anniversary in 2017 through the Ontario 150 Youth Partnership Program. Growing Community: Engaging Diverse Youth to Strengthen Ontario’s Tapestry of Urban Gardens (Growing Community) engaged young people from diverse faith and cultural backgrounds to design, plant, and maintain urban gardens across the province. This initiative featured the creation of 8 urban gardens in Ottawa, Toronto, and Halton. In Toronto, native plant gardens have been established at Shaarei Shomayim Synagogue, Manor Road United Church, and the International Muslim Organization of Toronto (IMO). The approach in Halton was to engage youth...
Greening Sacred Spaces (GSS) is our longest-running program. A practical program, GSS assists faith communities with both the educational and spiritual dimensions of greening as well as the “how to” side of audits, retrofits and generally reducing a faith community’s footprint. We have developed a number of resources to help faith groups become community leaders in working towards a more sustainable future for all. Click on the links below to find out more about our: videos and webinars, case studies, posters, guides, tip sheets, building audits, energy benchmarking, certification, awards   Visit your local chapter page or contact your local...

Resources

Outdoor Greening Fact Sheets

outdoor_fact_sheets_2017.JPGNew in 2017! Let your sacred space be an example for your Care for Creation mission! Learn about sustainable practices for water and energy including xeriscaping, rain gardens, and waterwise strategies in the new Outdoor Greening Fact Sheets. Read about the possibilities of turning a section of your faith community property into an ecological haven for wildlife including pollinators such as insects and birds. Get to know more about the benefits of planting native species of grasses, flowers, shrubs, and trees for your new meditation or prayer garden or in your memorial grounds. A special thanks to our funders the Ottawa Community Foundation and the City of Ottawa (CEPGP) for supporting the creation of these local resources!

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Options are:

  • Set of 10 fact sheets
  • Individual fact sheets:
    • 1. Sustainable Lawns, Groundcovers and Alternatives
    • 2. Landscaping for energy-savings
    • 3. Stormwater Management
    • 4. Water Conservation and Drought-tolerant Landscaping
    • 5. Hedgerows
    • 6. Choosing and planting Native Trees & Shrubs
    • 7. Wildlife-friendly Garden
    • 8. Bird-friendly Garden
    • 9. Urban Meadows
    • 10. Special Purpose Gardens: Healing, Meditation, Medicine Wheel, Labyrinth Gardens
  • Gardening Primer

OUTDOOR GREENING CASE STUDIES

OUTDOOR GREENING CASE STUDIES

New in 2018! Read how other faith communities are expanding their mission outdoors through various gardens including xeriscape, labyrinth, pollinator, sacred medicine wheel and wildflower gardens. In the following case studies you will find examples of both larger suburban projects along with small urban sites including sidewalks. Some gardens were initiated with very little money, while others sought out grants and other financial support. Find out how your garden team can do the same with a review of our case studies that include lessons learned and keys to success! A special thanks to our funders the Ottawa Community Foundation and the City of Ottawa (CEPGP) and all the faith communities who shared their stories, photos and enthusiasm for their Care for Creation outdoor projects with us!

Scroll through the 10 case studies. You can download them individually or download the complete set at the bottom of this page. You must be logged in to download these resources.

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1.PNGKitchissippi United Church - Depave Project

Kitchissippi United Church transformed a grey asphalt courtyard into a green lush entranceway that parishioners and building tenants benefit from and enjoy. Green landscapes can help soak up rainwater and lessen the burden of local storm water and sewer systems while also cooling down microclimates that add to the heat island effect of cities…
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1.PNGTrinity Presbyterian Church (Kanata) - Pollinator Garden

The Trinity Presbyterian pollinator garden in Kanata is home to native plants that provide nectar and pollen to beneficial insects and birds. Native pollinators are an essential component to the ecology of plants, ensuring that flowers are fertilized and food can grow. Supporting a variety of pollinators promotes a strong, biodiverse local ecosystem…
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1.PNGTrinity United Church – Wildflower Garden

Trinity United Church’s wildflower garden initially conceived by their Church in Society Committee, was installed in the back lawn of the faith community’s property and has evolved over time.time. Native wildflowers are better able to survive local conditions including temperatures and drought and require less maintenance including pesticides than their more exotic counterparts…
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4.PNGFirst Unitarian – Meditation Garden

The First Unitarian Meditation Gardens have been designed and maintained by the First Unitarian church over the past twenty years for the benefit of all groups on the sixacre campus plus visitors from the entire city. It was designed to be an urban oasis for “relaxation, restoration, observation and meditation”…
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5.PNGCentretown United Church – Sidewalk Community Garden

At Centretown United Church, raised sidewalk planters that held trees for more than 30 years have been transformed by the installation of a community garden. Something valuable has been created from the derelict empty planters for the church, the community and for Centre 507, a downtown Drop-In…
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1.PNGSt. Luke's Anglican – Sidewalk Community Garden

Empty spaces that had once held city shade trees for more than 30 years have been transformed by St. Luke’s Parish through the installation of gardens to grow fresh produce for the local St. Luke’s Table meal program. These gardens are now a valuable community asset and have brought back to life a…
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1.PNGThe Anglican Parish of March_St. John's Church_Outdoor Labyrinth

St John’s Church in Kanata provides an outdoor meditation experience for both its congregation and the larger neighbourhood community with their labyrinth garden. An outdoor labyrinth is a versatile addition to a faith community. A labyrinth walk is a spiritual and meditative tool that can be used for various purposes. It’s also a pleasant and unique landscape design that…
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8.PNGGlebe St. James United Church – Medicine Wheel

The Glebe-St. James United Church Sacred Medicine Wheel garden is a visible sign of the faith community’s allyship with First Nation communities. A Medicine Wheel garden represents the cycles of nature and is grown for medicinal purposes and harvested to be used as peace offerings. The First Nation relationship with…
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1.PNGKnox United Church – Community Garden

With a large expanse of lawn, support from the City of Ottawa’s Community Garden Network Fund and a generous bequest, Knox United Church has created a wonderful local gardening space that is open to both congregants and community members. Community gardens such as these allow people to grow local healthy fresh produce that doesn’t have to…
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10.PNGSpecial Faith Community & Cultural Gardens

This case study shares some of the details of three other special faith community and cultural gardens found in Ottawa. They are an inspiration for their ingenuity, community spirit and cultural significance. Each has a unique focus and approach and have been successful in gathering local support and volunteer dedication…
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all.PNGALL 10 OUTDOOR GREENING CASE STUDIES

All 10 Outdoor Greening Case Studies

Spring 2017

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Greening Sacred Spaces: Eco-Spiritual Workshops

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Explore the connection between your faith and the health of the Earth, and create an action plan to begin making changes and encourage one another. This is a single session workshop guide for introducing the Greening Sacred Spaces program to your faith community. Participants focus on aspects of daily life, such as food, home, place of worship to explore how they may make small and significant changes and apply their spirituality in practical ways to reduce energy consumption and help care for creation.The goals of the session include:

  • Exploring the relevance of “greening” to our way of life
  • Exploring how “greening” sacred spaces is relevant to this faith community
  • Exploring the connection between our faith and the health of the Earth
  • Exploring how our beliefs become concrete in our behaviour
  • Exploring possibilities to make our homes, lives, and sacred spaces greener
  • Creating an action plan to begin making changes
  • Encouraging one another to change

 

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Order the Greening Sacred Spaces Workshop ($4 each)

Mission Per Square Foot Case Studies

MPSF Case Studies

In 2015, we launched a new program called Mission Per Square Foot (MPSF) designed to help any congregation fully harness their building in a way that meets its mission, acknowledges its capacity, protects the environment and serves the larger community. These case studies (from the Ottawa area explore how diverse faith communities are fully and sustainably utilizing their buildings, guided by a clear mission and in service to the larger community. The MPSF program was relabelled Regeneration Works: Places of Faith in 2017.

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The Green Rule Poster

The Green Rule

Faith & the Common Good derived the Green Rule poster from the classic Golden Rule found in major faith traditions.

“Do unto the Earth as you would have it do unto you.”

Each Green Rule was chosen from the great texts of the world’s major religions and spiritual philosophies. The texts all acknowledge the natural world as an essential phenomenon through which we may better come to know the divine and our oneness with it.

Order the Green Rule Poster ($15 folded; $20 rolled ON/QC; $25 Canada)

For bulk sales and international orders, email resources@faithcommongood.org to ask for a quote *before* placing order.

See also:

Green Rule study guide (orderable with poster)

How to use the Green Rule (PDF download)

Connect With Us

Ottawa Animator:
Katherine Forster
Email:
kforster@faithcommongood.org
Phone: 1-866-231-1877 x107

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