Faith, Conservation Groups Unite for Wildlife in Toledo

06-29-2017 // Drew Youngedyke

SoCal_Alpine1_219x219TOLEDO, OH - The National Wildlife Federation’s Sacred GroundsTM Garden for Wildlife Program will kick off locally with a How to Green Your Faith Community's Landscape Workshop on Saturday, July 15th, 2017 from 9:30am - 12:30pm at University Church, 4747 Hill Avenue Toledo, Ohio. Wild Ones - Oak Openings Region Chapter, the City of Toledo and the MultiFaith Council of Northwest Ohio, along with many area organizations, are blending resources to empower congregations of all faiths to build native gardens using the Sacred GroundsTM program.

“We’re excited to partner with the Sacred Grounds initiative as we have a cross section of various faiths who participate in our activities. It is our hope that we attract people from Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and other faiths to join in the very important work of creation care.” said Crystal Taylor of the MultiFaith Council of Northwest Ohio. “We host approximately 30 events each year with a focus on becoming a more compassionate community and caring for creation certainly fits that agenda.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for faith communities to learn how to use their grounds as stewards of Creation for the good of all: support for birds, butterflies, and pollinators, while cleaning and managing storm water,” said Hal Mann of the Wild Ones – Oak Openings Region Chapter. “This is where religion and environmental stewardship come together.”

Sacred Grounds™ is the National Wildlife Federation’s environmental stewardship certification program that gives people of all faiths the opportunity to connect to nature at their place of worship and to learn about the different ways their faith encourages them to be good environmental stewards. Congregations offer great opportunities to support wildlife habitat due to their often large acreage, community leadership role, and provision of spiritual guidance. Sacred Grounds™ gives congregations an opportunity to receive recognition for undertaking landscaping projects that attract wildlife and reduce stormwater runoff. Faith communities interested in participating in Sacred Grounds™ will bring a commitment from leadership to integrate environmental stewardship into religious activities, the ability to provide ongoing maintenance in outdoor spaces on site, a team dedicated to engaging the congregation on relevant environmental issues and connecting these practices to the greater community.

All are invited to attend this free Sacred GroundsTM Workshop, to learn about resources for building a natural community that creates habitat for birds and butterflies, welcomes pollinators, reduces water pollution from runoff and lessens contributions to and impacts from climate change.  To register, visit www.multifaithcouncil.org.

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