In the summer of 2019, the All Saint’s Summer Sunday School program sparked the dream of establishing a Healing Forest on Richmond Road in Ottawa’s Westboro community. Over that summer, the children learned about trees – in the bible, as icons, as the lungs of the planet. The children met on the property of All Saints’ Anglican Church and designed their forest; in partnership with First United Church, parents, church staff, and community members brought the dream to reality. This included the installation of the one-tonne ‘Grandmother Rock’, the digging of a path to spread pebbles on, and the installation of the descriptive sign.
On October 6, the congregations of All Saints’ and First United gathered and welcomed Grandmother Francine, who explained the meaning of the smudging and drumming ceremony and expressed her hope that this small Healing Forest would be a benefit to the community at large.
The All Saints’ community welcomes visitors to the site.
Photo: Patricia Stirbys
Photo: Helen Norman