Celebration Garden

Huge progress! Our stunning Celebration Garden is really taking shape. The walkway is embossed with designs inspired by native plants and lizards, a ring of Encelia (brittlebush) circles the metal sculpture, and a new bladderpod hedge to screen off the parking lot is in place. 

As amazing as the embossed designs are,  John Ressler will start coloring and sealing the embossed designs  on November 6. That is the final step for the Celebration Garden. UUCOD is very blessed to have John.

The comments from congregants have been very heart warming. Several have said that while they heard the description earlier, they had no idea how amazing it would feel when it came together. It is truly a special place.

The previous pavers have now been placed and cleaned – it is very moving to see the pavers now properly honored. Our elders have reached out to people connected to those pavers to invite them to the Blessing and Dedication after the worship service on December 3. This looks to be a very moving celebration uniting the congregation with those who came before us. 

Desert Canyon Habitat

On October 23 we started planting the Desert Canyon Habitat with over a hundred native plants! They are all small, which is the best approach in the desert, and will grow quickly. Small plants quickly drive their roots deep into the sand and end up much healthier than larger nursery plants. In just a year or two the plantings of this garden will look incredible.

 Huge thanks to Sue Engles for leading the acquisition and planting, and Dave Emmerson, Chris Eager, Randy Steele, Dave Carter, John Reseller and Rod Belshee for planting work parties. Sue combined forces with Katie Barrows for the UCR Garden Day, and several of us helped set up that event.

The next steps are adding irrigation and bilingual signage, then the final paths. Dedication of this Habitat will occur in a very special service on January 7. We will have local conservationists as speakers in a service led by our prior minister, Rev. Barbara Fast, who was instrumental in the genesis of the Sacred Grounds Initiative.


Sacred Grounds Recent Posts

Desert Canyon Habitat Nears Completion

Take a stroll through the new Desert Canyon Habitat garden by the labyrinth. The first of 4-5 habitats on our grounds, this provides refugia for our native species, and provides a place for us to develop and nurture a deep a spiritual connection to the interconnected...

Sacred Grounds Update: August 2023

Wow, this has been a busy month. We've finalized the landscape design for the Desert Canyon Garden, defined the paths, got the plant material list ready to order and even got 25 tons of boulders delivered!  The Celebration Garden is taking shape too - the stamps for...

Sacred Grounds Update June 2023

Greetings from Sacred Grounds! A lot has been happening so let’s catch you up. We are hard at work and eager for you to join in the creation of the Celebration Garden and several Native Plant Community Gardens.      Sacred Grounds Update: June 2023 Spoiler: October...

Sacred Grounds Weed Pull, March 2023

Dear Friends of Sacred Grounds and Fellow Weed Pullers, The rain this winter has produced a new crop of schismus grass, and we need to remove this pesky invader soon. Schismus grass is easy to remove! No need to get on your hands and knees. You can stand and scrape it...

Sacred Grounds Update January 2023

Here’s an update on progress since the November Sacred Grounds meeting, at which various sub-teams were formed. There are many opportunities for you to get involved, matching your interests and skills. Read about the Native Plants sub-team, the upcoming Weed Pull Party, landscaping, design ideas for the sidewalks and more!

Fall Kickoff!

Sacred Grounds relaunches! Seventeen people met after the November 13th service to introduce Sacred Grounds to newcomers, rekindle excitement, and get moving on Phase 1 projects. Enthusiasm was high!

Volunteers jumped in to start planting native species, join the Love the Land work parties on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday, staff the patio info tables and communications, and select the material for the paths. As we complete visible projects we should gain more visibility and more volunteers and be able to move forward on the other parts of the Phase 1 projects.

Earth Day Worship Service

First, a huge thank you to Katie Barrows. The Barrows family of Katie, Cameron, and Colin is the undisputed First Family of our local natural lands. The family business has been protecting our native lands, being stewards, listening to and understanding interconnection of the other species, and inspiring more stewards. Please let’s acknowledge our gratitude to Katie and her family.

Our beautiful area is hurting. The eastern valley

Sacred Grounds Update

Remember the Sacred Grounds Initiative? After a long Covid hiatus, the Initiative will be starting back up.

Oh, didn’t Covid change everything? By March 2020 a large group of congregants had formed the Sacred Grounds Initiative, a vision for our amazing grounds that included support for the native plants and critters, plus nourishing human souls with places for meditation, connection and reflection. The minister spoke from the pulpit, a couple of congregation-wide meetings were held, and a Love-the-Land work party

Our Lovely Desert Iguanas

With the warming temperatures, our three pairs of Desert Iguanas should soon be making an appearance on our Sacred Grounds. First will be the youngsters who hatched last fall and should come out of their burrows for the first time this next week or so. Soon after, as the sand becomes reliably warm, the adults will appear. The Desert Iguanas are one of the last lizards to emerge because they are unable to digest their