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.
Join the growing number of faith communities who are working to create a network of pollinator gardens. We are pleased to provide links and resources to assist you in this endeavour.
Planting for Pollinators
Some excellent resources and videos are available from the Pollinator Partnership (pollinator promotion and preservation) in the United States. They have videos of past webinars on faith communities creating pollinator gardens:
A 52 minute webinar hosted by the Pollinator Partnership.
How to Plant a Pollinator Garden
A 43 minute webinar hosted by the Pollinator Partnership. The first minute of the video is black.
More Pollinator Garden Resources
Scroll down to the blue section below for resources created by Faith & the Common Good.
Pollination Canada has resources and links to information on planting for pollinators, species lists, agricultural maps, and more to assist with your pollinator garden.
A pdf document "A Landowner’s Guide – Conserving Native Pollinators in Ontario" explains pollination, pollinator species and threats to native pollinators, habitat and nesting sites for wild pollinators, and conservation steps for preserving and protecting our pollinator species. It also gives a resource list, including a list of “resource-rich plants for pollinators” – great options to include in your garden, and a list of suppliers.
Celebrate Pollinator Week every June!
Native Plant Garden Guide
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
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.
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: [email protected]).
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