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Welcome to Ottawa Energy Benchmarking and Greening Sacred Spaces Team

Perhaps, you are well aware that Greening Sacred Spaces Ottawa has been one of the oldest chapters of the FCG sustainability network operating in Ottawa for over 15 years. What you may not know is that a few new faces have joined this chapter in the hopes of contributing to the meaningful work of the group and building its story further.  We would like to introduce ourselves, and in so doing, also discuss some of the ways in which we the Energy Benchmarking Program (EBP) that we are both involved in will be moving, going forward this year.

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Communities Inspired for Environmental Action Central Saskatchewan Supports City of Saskatoon’s Low Emissions Community (LEC) Plan

Communities Inspired for Environmental Action Central Saskatchewan is affiliated to Faith & the Common Good, a national, interfaith charitable network dedicated to assisting and inspiring religious congregations and spiritual groups of all backgrounds to take collective action in creating more sustainable communities. As the co-chair of Communities Inspired for Environmental Action, I am writing this brief letter to highlight the importance and tangible benefits for social equity and quality of life that accompany following through with the commitments outlined in the Low Emissions Community (LEC) Plan released by the City of Saskatoon in August 2019. That plan sets out a framework that seeks to transform the city that most of the people involved in Communities Inspired for Environmental Action call their home into a low emissions and sustainable community.

There are many initiatives and facts presented in the plan that are of interest to people involved in our group. Of note are the tangible targets for greenhouse gas reduction that the City of Saskatoon’s Council set in 2017 based on 2014 baselines of reducing emissions from corporations by 40% and from community emission by 15% by the year 2023. With reference to the same baseline year, the council set a target of an 80% drop in overall emission by the year 2050 (see p. 3 of the LEC).

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Press Release: No Space for Community in Ontario Neighbourhoods?

New Report Addresses Loss of Community Infrastructure Due to Permanent Closure of Faith Buildings in Ontario

The National Trust for Canada indicates that a third of Canada’s 27,000 faith buildings - more than 9,000 buildings - could close permanently within the next ten years. A new report released today, No Space for Community,” measures faith-building usage and how closures could impact the wide range of not-for-profit services, organizations, and community groups that rely on those buildings.

Daycares, women and seniors programs, arts and culture organizations, community groups, twelve-step groups, food banks, blood donor clinics, community meetings, and others, would have nowhere to go in the absence of those buildings and the free or affordable space they provide.

The two-year study, conducted by Faith & the Common Good in partnership with the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Nonprofit Network, the City of Toronto, Cardus, and the National Trust for Canada, gathered new data through surveys of existing non-profit and community groups that make use of faith-building space.

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Searching for New Board Members

June 30,2020

 We want YOU to join our Board!

Do you have Faith in a cleaner, healthier, more just future?

  • Do you believe that our diverse faith and spiritual communities can be a force for good?
  • Are you passionate and hopeful about protecting our environment for future generations?
  • Are you a self-starter who respects tradition but is unafraid of change?
  • Are you comfortable talking about money?
  • Do you thrive working in multi-cultural, multi-faith, grass-roots environments?
  • Do you have a sense of humour?
  • Do you have some of the interests and experience discussed below?

If you answered a strong “Yes!” to these questions, you may be just the person we are looking for to join our Board of Directors.

Download the PDF for more information.

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Catholic Church announces extensive guidelines and ambitious plan to implement Laudato Si’

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Ottawa Garden Case Studies 2020: Beit Tikvah Synagogue Hugglekulture Case Study

Beit Tikvah Hugglekulture Garden

 

SUMMARY

The Beit Tikvah Synagogue hugglekulture garden is a superb example of permaculture, polyculture and regenerative agriculture on a small scale in Ottawa. Permaculture garden design is a “whole systems” approach to growing food by maximizing the benefits of natural ecosytem principles into the landscape. Using natural water flow movement, the benefits of woody material decomposition (both for nutrients and water storage) and increasing the seasonal biodiversity of food crops, this hugglekulture garden optimizes nature’s cycles and reduces the work for the synagogue’s gardening community.

(Beit Tikvah's Orchard and Gardens, Title photo reproduced with permission by photographer (2020))

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Caring Sustainably for Saskatchewan Webinar Series

Caring Sustainably for Saskatchewan

“Wherever you are, whatever you do, you can act daily for the climate.”

Saskatchewan Environmental Groups Collaborate on Webinar Series.

“The webinar format allows us to invite speakers from outside Saskatoon, such as speakers from Saskatchewan's Ministry of Environment and PACE Canada,” says Carroll Chubb, CIEA Committee Member, and main organizer. “PACE financing is a way to finance building alterations to buildings that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” 

Warm sunshine dazzles the earth around me warming both my body and my soul as I look up into a bright blue open sky.  Overhead a flock of geese so heavy that a shadow is cast over the yard and upon closing my eyes I hear the powerful thrust of flapping wings.  In the distance, a coyote yelps as cattle join into the chorus while songbirds sing a delightful accompaniment.  Snow is melting, buds are forming, water is flowing the aroma of fresh earth fills the air and tonight the skies will be filled with a tapestry of endless stars, this is springtime in Saskatchewan and what a magnificent concert it is to take in. It is so easy to fall in love with creation yet true love always desires responsibility.

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Ottawa Garden Case Studies 2020: Orleans Healing Biodiversity Garden Case Study

Garden Bench in the Shade

SUMMARY

The Orleans United Healing Biodiversity Garden was created to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the church. The focus on both biodiversity and healing came from the desire for this new garden to provide both habitat and shelter for wildlife and offer a relaxing space for meditation and prayer for community members including those benefiting from a new healing ministry program. Nature itself offers healing benefits and this garden provides a designated space to sit outdoors and enjoy the wonder and beauty of being outdoors.

(Title Image - Photo credit - F. Lemay-Legault)

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