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What Does Rewilding Mean to Us?

  • Reconnecting with our local biome
  • speeding up forest succession
  • tending the young forest to thrive and serve our needs
  • Low maintenance & self-sustaining
  • native plants
  • Returning the land to its original state, prior to first contact, native plants and forest, wildlife, restored ecosystem
  • Restoring
  • reclaiming the lawn
  • Increasing natural growth, allowing native plants.

“What are we attempting to accomplish?”

We are nurturing our relationship with the land through restorative ecological design, education, and sacred community spaces

Nurture -- Create -- Restore -- Play

Indicators of Success

ST: The space naturally resonates with people and draws them in to use and enjoy the space: they want to be there.

LT: Plants and wildlife (Biodiversity) present that would not otherwise be seen.  These are known and held in sacredness.  It calls us into feeling.

LT: The ecosystem is self-sufficient

ST: The school begins to use it as an educational space, and individuals use it for self-learning.

ST: Seniors begin to use the space, as part of their routine, for rest

LT: The space brings us gifts of beauty, peace, life, wellbeing, medicine, healing.

LT: The use of the space takes on a life of its own and becomes dynamic

ST: That the space becomes a connecting place where new relationships are built

LT: That the space is a model for other neighbourhoods and lands.

Principles of Design

  1. How does each design element, human, plant, structure, relate to one another in a beneficial way?
  2. Ensure winter and summer enjoyment
  3. Safety
  4. Design by “zone” - human zone, wild zone, growing zone, animal habitat zone
  5. Maintenance level - proximity of work
  6. Pay attention to edges/borders

What Draws Us to the Project

  • Overtaking a parking lot
  • This is what we think a church should be doing in this day and age
  • Environmental, beauty, community, destination
  • To be part of restoring the land, and integrating an educational component, providing a natural space for community
  • Art possibilities
  • The state of natural existence, no force, allowing things to be, seeing that beauty, engaging a slowness

Who else needs to be involved?

  • Kids*
  • The neighbourhood: general engagement and to buy trees, lights, benches, signs, etc.
  • The forestry program at U of A?Native Plant group?*Indigenous consultation

What would you like to see within two years?

  1. The Annex upgraded
  2. amphitheater space
  3. food production in the parking lot
  4. Lights on the large trees
  5. soil in the parking lot
  6. mapped out paths
  7. saplings
  8. Trees and bush with walking paths
  9. patches of native prairie grasses
  10. community gathering space.
  11. Paths, trees, meaningful design

Design Elements

  • Memorial benches
  • Circular path for seniors/mobility with walkers/wheelchairs with seating along the way*
  • Kid trail on the way to school** (safety and sightlines)
  • Like we slow water on a landscape to let it soak in, how can we slow people down as they engage the space?**
  • Create winter community spaces using lights, microclimates, structures, art, etc.**
  • Winter events with choir, lights, food
  • Create hill space*** both for seating for an amphitheater* (think about water capture also)
  • Creating a small wetland area
  • Limestone path for mobility
  • Labyrinth either dedicated in circle or as the path system itself****
  • Natural playground elements*
  • Reflexology stones (for bare feet)
  • Large stones for sitting / meditating
  • Art and sculpture elements throughout
  • Poetry signs with changeable messages (changed seasonally) *
  • Educational elements / signs
  • Permanent lemonade stand table that kids could book and use
  • Small things to invite kids in - sculptures, hidden surprises
  • Gravel: xeroscape


  • Fruit orchard?  (Maintenance the big issue here)
  • Memorial trees?**
  • Old growth forest?***
  • 1000 year tree project?***


  • Song bird habitat
  • Milkweed
  • Native plants*
  • Indigenous elements / medicines*
  • Berries
  • Perennial, no maintenance food