Several years ago, the Gardening Ministry at Our Lady of Lourdes persuaded the rectory to remove a grassy extent and create a garden. At first, it was a “no” but in 2022, we were allowed to design it and we adopted the idea of a Canadian Native garden. We began in 2022. In 2023 we received a grant through Donna Lang via TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, and we added native plants.
By Jill Klaehn, John Ryerson and Sandy Giles Byrne
Fairlawn Avenue United Church located in North Toronto is an Affirming congregation that is committed to social justice. As part of our journey towards Truth and Reconciliation, we were looking for a way to honour our Indigenous People’s sacred relationship with the land.
It’s 2023 and thanks again to TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF), Islington United Church received a second grant that enabled us to plant a native shade garden at the church. (Last year we planted two native sun/shade gardens.) Our overall goal is to revitalize an under used area to create a peaceful green space that invites our congregation and neighbours to visit for quiet reflective time, or gather in fellowship. It is also our objective to restore wildlife ecology and habitat, including pollinator plants to support bees and butterflies. The gardens have already provided opportunity for education about the importance of native plants and shifting to this type of gardening.
Knowing that you love the earth changes you, activates you to defend and protect and celebrate. But when you feel that the earth loves you in return, that feeling transforms the relationship from a one-way street into a sacred bond ― Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
Submitted by the following members of Islington United Church, Toronto: Lorraine McCarthy, Steve Tower and Randee Marquez, Communications Ministry Specialist.
Thanks to the grant from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Islington United Church was able to create two new native plant garden spaces: a sun-shade garden and a full-sun garden. Here is an overview of the stages of preparation of the spaces, followed by the planting and progression of each garden area.