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Find out more about Our Energy Benchmarking Program Understanding your current energy use is the first step in reducing it. Launched in 2017, our Energy Benchmarking Program is helping faith communities take practical and economical climate action by lowering their energy use and emissions.  “Energy efficiency is the fastest, cheapest, and largest single resource solution for simultaneously saving energy, saving money, and preventing GHG emissions.” – Energy Star Action Workbook for Congregations, US EPA, 2017   Interested? Here's what you need to do to participate: A) If you have already registered your faith community for our free online network go directly...
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 animator...
The Ottawa Chapter of Faith & the Common Good (FCG) is featuring an Outdoor Greening Winter Webinar Series in 2020: The Birds and Bees of Sustainable Gardening!   This Winter Webinar series is financially supported by TD Friends of the Environment Foundation - a great big thanks to this amazing national environmental foundation!    This winter the Ottawa Chapter of FCG is offering a free garden webinar series for local faith communities to learn about how to support the birds, bees and other wildlife on your property. Native birds and bees benefit from simple and easy changes that we can make...
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.

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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Resources

Ottawa Energy Benchmarking Case Study

Recorded November 13, 2019

Learn about what it's like to participate in the Energy Benchmarking Program, to ask energy-saving questions to an expert, and to be inspired by the amazing work of this congregation!

In this free webinar, Steven Law, P. Eng., the Holy Trinity Thornhill Green Team leader. Steven Law is a licensed Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Guelph.  Steven has over 20 years of experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors, including participation in renewable energy projects, leading the Holy Trinity Green Team and teaching a short course on renewable energy and storage technologies.

Watch the free webinar to learn more about Holy Trinity Thornhill's green journey, including first steps, a green audit, energy retrofits and joining the Energy Benchmarking Program. 

Download options include:

  • Individual pdf presentations:

 Download Presentation

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.

To support the Faith & the Common Good Outdoor Greening program and the Ottawa Interfaith Sustainable Garden Network program, the following Fact Sheets have been created. Within these resources you will be able to 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!

These Outdoor Greening Fact Sheets & Primer are available both as ONE BOOKLET (choose the link below "Set of 10 Fact Sheets with Primer") or they can be downloaded INDIVIDUALLY if you only want a few specific fact sheets or the Primer.

 

We recommend you download the BOOKLET (which includes the PRIMER) unless you only want a few fact sheets. Each individual fact sheet must be downloaded separately - so this may take some time. If you do want the set of 10 individual fact sheet pdfs please contact Katherine Forster and she can send you the set (phone: 1-866-231-1877 x 107, email: kforster@faithcommongood.org).

 

Download fact sheets

Download options are:

  • Set of 10 fact sheets (with primer)

  • Individual fact sheets (download each separately):
    • 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

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.

To support the Faith & the Common Good Outdoor Greening program and the Ottawa Interfaith Sustainable Garden Network program, the following case studies have been created.  Within these resources 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!

These Outdoor Greening Case Studies are available both as ONE BOOKLET (see final link below "All 10 Outdoor Greening Case Studies") or they can be downloaded INDIVIDUALLY if you only want a few specific case studies.

We recommend you download the BOOKLET (which is the last pdf file below) unless you only want a few.  Each individual case study must be downloaded separately - so this may take some time. If you do want the set of 10 individual case studies please contact Katherine Forster and she can send you the set (phone: 1-866-231-1877 x 107, email: kforster@faithcommongood.org).

 

KitchissippiKitchissippi 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…
 Download PDF (2.5 MB)

Trinity PresbyterianTrinity 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…
 Download PDF (3.5 MB)

Trinity UnitedTrinity 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…
 Download PDF (2.5 MB)

First UnitarianFirst 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”…
 Download PDF (3.0 MB)

CentretownCentretown 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…
 Download PDF (1.95 MB)

St. LukeSt. 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…
 Download PDF (1.8 MB)

St. Johns MarchThe 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…
 Download PDF (3.2 MB)

Glebe-St. JamesGlebe 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…
 Download PDF (2.8 MB)

KnoxKnox 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…
 Download PDF (1.15 MB)

otherSpecial 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…
 Download PDF (2.98 MB)

all outdoor case studiesALL 10 OUTDOOR GREENING CASE STUDIES

Spring 2017

 Download PDF (1.76 MB)

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.

 Download PDF (1.8 MB)

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.

The Green Rule poster is approximately 22" x 28".

See also:

Green Rule study guide (orderable with poster)

How to use the Green Rule (PDF download)

Thank you to our Funders


Connect With Us

Ottawa GSS and Energy Benchmarking Program Manager:
Ruth Bankey
Email:
rbankey@faithcommongood.org

Ottawa Benchmarking Program Coordinator:
Emine Turgut
Email:
GSS@faithcommongood.org






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