By Penny Connell
On April 29th I participated in Salal + Cedar’s third training for improving wildlife habitat on church grounds. The Rev. Laurel Dykstra, Gitxan and Nisgaa herbalist Leona Brown, and Rev. Elizabeth Mathers presented this workshop at St Clement’s in North Vancouver. It easily made the point of spiritual riches emanating from a native garden. At St. Clement’s Elizabeth and others have been at work rewilding the grounds for nearly seven years.
We at St. Bart’s in Gibsons have been awarded a grant of $550 to undertake the rewilding/restoration of our grounds so that they mesh with the undisturbed areas of the land we live on—land we have marred by our “civilization/acculturation” of it over the last 150 or so years here on the coast.
At the workshop we were given a great planning document and a list of resources, a list which does a lot of initial leg-work for us. These resources also open the door to more money in the form of grants. A further, charming take-away is a Bug Hotel and the materials and information with which to furnish and place it. As well, we enjoyed the company of wise, engaged, informed people and time to talk with them. We also received their assurance of support.
The great gift I received personally was the experience of sitting and walking in the gardens. Talk about spiritual!—and yes it was spiritual—and, I would say, religious! I participated in my very first smudge. I am so grateful that I could attend. I’ve come away with an abiding sense of peace and positivity!