Logo for Garden On team

Initially inspired by street reconstruction & increase in our lawn frontage, an idea was germinated, a team was created and eventually a plan was created – to use our very visible front yard as a demonstration of our 7th Principle, Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. The team, led by Leo DaSilva, has designed our gardens using all native plants and pollinators. Additionally, this year, they added a rain garden.

They won First Place for the Best Sustainable Public Green Space from the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill’s 2022 Community Greening Awards (read more here).

  • UU Church of Worcester front lawn
  • Garden-On Team members and wonderful volunteers gathered on November 5, 2022 to clean and straighten out the small garden shed in the back of the church and the area surrounding it. They are, clockwise from lower left, Carole Howe, Gary Phillips, Ana Oliveira, Leo DaSilva, Melissa McKeon and Ruth Silver. (photo by Betty Jenewin, taken from inside the little shed)
  • Garden-On Team member Ruth Silver planting
    Garden-On Team member Ruth Silver readies native plants on Sept. 23, 2022 for the following day's sale. (photo by Leo DaSilva)
  • close-up of house finch
    This male House Finch was actually perching in the trees that overhang our Bird Sanctuary garden at the side of the parking lot on July 11, 2022. Smart bird! (photo by Betty Jenewin)
  • Gary Phillips, left, a fellow UU and member of First Parish Northboro, gave us his time, talent and treasure (the use of his rototiller) on June 5, 2022 to help us expand our garden beds. He is shown here working with Garden-On Team member Leo DaSilva. Thank you, Gary! (photo by Betty Jenewin)
  • Garden-On Team member Betty Jenewin plants some pansies in one of the pots next to the church entrance on April 9, 2022. Leo DaSilva then added some greens and pussy willows to create a beautiful arrangement. Check it out next time you're walking into church! (photo by Leo DaSilva)
  • Coneflower bud in winter
    Nature has a different beauty in winter. This is a cutleaf coneflower, one of the native plants in our gardens. Children in the Religious Exploration program have adopted a native plant. They will be keeping an eye on it and seeing the changes it makes. This is Cooper and Flora’s flower. (macro photography by Betty Jenewin)
  • Garden On design plan
  • Sandra Ansaldi and Jan Cutman, foreground, are among the volunteers planting the rain garden on April 3, 2021.
  • Members of the Garden-on Team as well as worker bee volunteers pose for a group photo on April 3, 2021 after transferring plants and grasses from Leo DaSilva’s home garden into the rain garden at the front of the church land. Leo is in the back row, second from left. This was the first of three plantings in this area, also called a bioretention basin.
  • Members of the Garden-On Team have begun harvesting seeds; here, Carole Howe holds some Showy Goldenrod on Nov. 7, 2021. The seeds will either be put in the Little Free Library for anyone to take, or planted in flats to overwinter before being planted in our gardens next year. (photo by Betty Jenewin)
  • Garden-On Team member Leo DaSilva places native plant seeds in trays during an afternoon work party on January 22, 2022. The trays will then be placed outdoors for a period of cold stratification to overwinter the seeds. (photo by Betty Jenewin)