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.
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.
Our church has always had congregants who love gardening and planting at home, and two years ago we took the plunge to start gardening at church.
Our vision for Wellspring is to have an abundant food and native plants garden that invites and welcomes our neighbours onto our grounds. We want to make our space inviting and fulfilling for human beings, as well as butterflies, birds and wildlife.
Growing food will feed human stomachs, and growing native plants will feed pollinators and encourage biodiversity within North York. Our property also houses a beehive, which we have enjoyed the past 2 years. Thanks to our TD Friends of the Environment Grant, we were able to expand our existing garden with native plants, and give the bees more to feast on.