Are you planning to green your sacred outdoor space? Looking for ways to conserve water indoors and out, how to begin a community garden, or share practical tips on tree-planting, landscaping, or pollinator gardens?
Scroll down to learn more about what faith communities are doing and ways to get involved!
Start a community garden! Help provide space for local, healthy food by creating community garden plots on your faith property. It’s a way to show your faith in action through outreach to the community, and can be combined with other programs and community engagement such as seed-saving and seed-swap events, contributions to your local food bank, hosting local food or 100 mile dinners… Continue Reading
Pollinators are critical for biodiversity and food security; they are also often a powerful symbol of rebirth and spirituality. Adding a pollinator garden to your faith property combines beautification, community outreach, and ecological support for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. They need our help; pollinator populations are in decline… Continue Reading
Your congregation can contribute to your local community and the climate by planting native trees on your personal or place of worship property, or by participating in local community tree-planting events.Many regions have local initiatives for tree-planting.Here are a few programs we have heard about… Continue Reading
The Ottawa Chapter of Faith & the Common Good (FCG) is offering an Outdoor Greening Program for 2018 - 2019. This program is financially supported by TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Ottawa Community Foundation and the City of Ottawa (CEPGP). It also includes a new collaboration with the Wild Pollinator Partners (Ontario East - Outaouais) that includes an opportunity for faith communities to receive some free native plants from Wild Pollinator Partners to add to their gardens! Join the Interfaith Outdoor Greening network so that you can receive sustainable gardening information, specific tips & techniques, and details on local Ottawa garden resources....
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...
Native Plant Garden Guide
New in 2018! This 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 in 2018 with the assistance of the North American Native Plant Society.
Download PDF (2.7 MB)
Outdoor Greening Fact Sheets
New 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!
Download fact sheets
- 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
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 section.
Kitchissippi 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 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 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 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)
Centretown 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. 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)
The 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. 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)
Knox 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)
Special 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 10 OUTDOOR GREENING CASE STUDIES
Community Garden Presentation
Community Garden Guide
Greening Sacred Spaces has developed a community garden guide for faith communities creating a community food garden. This comprehensive how-to guide includes information on:
- setting up a garden
- forming a volunteer team
- planting a garden, including depth and drainage, organic matter, container gardening, rooftop gardening, tools, and other options
- maintaining a garden – weeding, watering, and pest control tips
- harvesting the garden – picking, monitoring, and chronicling the crop, freezing and fermenting, storing and replenishing soil
- a garden resource list
Download PDF (1.8 MB)
See also the companion Community Garden Presentation.