Faith & The Common Good
April, 2018
Getting ready for the growing season!
Read on for gardening resources and other information


Dear Friend —

The warmer weather is just around the corner and many of us are itching to get into our gardens for the delight they bring.

At FCG, we are thinking about the many ways a garden can go beyond our personal spaces to serve our neighbourhoods. Faith communities often have outdoor properties and these can be sacred green spaces for all the community to enjoy and benefit from.

Perhaps you are just starting out with a community vegetable garden, or maybe you are looking for practical tips on topics such as water conservation, tree-planting, or landscaping. This newsletter offers tailored guides to fit your interest.

Not only do our outdoor spaces offer a place for reflection and meditation, or a source of healthy nutritious food, but now more than ever, nature needs these spaces to support biological diversity, or biodiversity — the variety of life on earth and its interdependence.

Diversity makes living things adaptable, which is critical given the loss of habitat and deforestation globally, fragmented ecosystems, and climate breakdown that is becoming our daily reality. But biodiversity is declining all over the world at such an alarming pace that we are actively weakening our resiliency (including our food security).

What this means is that we need to plant for life. Thankfully, towns and cities — where most of us live — are great places that can support habitat. Even a small patch of earth can be habitat, connecting with other patches.  One example is the Hamilton Pollinator Paradise Project, where together with residents, faith groups, schools, businesses, parks, and more, they are building an uninterrupted corridor of native plant species in support of pollinators. Our Native Plant Garden Guide can help you get started.

Finally, April 22 is Earth Day, the largest environmental event in the world. More than six million Canadians participate in an Earth Day activity in their communities. Why not take this opportunity to celebrate Mother Earth, and plant a garden so that future generations can thrive?


Lucy Cummings
Executive Director, Faith & the Common Good




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The following gardening resources were created by Faith & the Common Good staff in Ontario (garden zone 5) for faith community use. If you are located outside of Ontario, this information may be adaptable to your situation.

You must sign in to download the following resources. If you are downloading resources for your faith community, we would appreciate you registering your faith community as part of our network by signing up at We have recently launched a new website, so your previous registration might be no longer valid.



fact sheets
Outdoor Greening Fact Sheets

Learn about sustainable gardening practices, including:

  • sustainable lawns and groundcovers
  • landscaping for energy-savings
  • storm water management
  • water conservation and drought-tolerant landscaping
  • hedgerows
  • native trees and shrubs
  • wildlife-friendly garden
  • bird-friendly garden
  • urban meadows
  • special purpose gardens

These new Outdoor Greening Fact Sheets were created by our Greening Sacred Spaces Ottawa Chapter. Download individually or as a set. Also at this link is a Gardening Primer.

Find Out More
Native Plant Garden Guide
Native Plant Garden Guide
This new guidebook is designed to help faith communities plan and maintain a successful native plant community garden. It was created by our Greening Sacred Spaces Toronto Chapter with the assistance of the North American Native Plant Society.
Find Out More
Community Garden Guide
Edible Community Garden Guide

In 2015, Greening Sacred Spaces Toronto Chapter developed a community garden guide for faith communities creating a community food garden.

There is a companion PDF presentation for your faith community.

Find Out More
Outdoor Greening Case Studies
Outdoor Greening Case Studies
Read how other faith communities are expanding their mission outdoors through various gardens including xeriscape, labyrinth, pollinator, sacred medicine wheel and wildflower gardens. This resource was newly created by our Greening Sacred Spaces Ottawa chapter.
Find Out More
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Greening Sacred Spaces
Greening Sacred Spaces Halton-Peel Awards Night

The Green Sacred Space Awards recognize and showcase faith organizations that have demonstrated initiative and commitment to protecting God's creations. This year's guest speaker is Chief Stacey Laforme, of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. 

Date: Thursday, May 4
Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Place: Joshua Creek Heritage Arts Centre
1086 Burnhamthorpe Road East, Oakville, ON

Learn More and Register
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Parliament of World Religions

Thousands of religious and civic leaders assembling to address
the critical global issues of peace, justice, and sustainability.
10,000+ people, 200+ Spiritual Traditions, 80+ Nations

While climate actions by our own faith communities are crucial, we can’t lose sight of the fact that climate destabilization can only be halted when we act collectively.  That is why the Parliament of World Religion’s international convening in Toronto next November 1-7, with an expected attendance of over 10,000, presents such an amazing opportunity for Canadian faith communities to share their stories, to learn from each other, and ultimately, to join together with other faith and spiritual communities from around the world to build a more sustainable world.

Date: November 1-7, 2018
Place: Toronto, ON

Parliament of World Religions video
Learn More and Register


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