The Shrubscriber Community
Shrubscriber is an online community that advocates for nature-based solutions to problems impacting Edmonton. We bring together climate-conscious citizens, nature lovers and gardeners to fund trees for community projects. Become a shrubscriber today and help build a biodiverse, food secure and climate-resilient city.
Fulton Place, Edmonton
Jonathan Crane has been the pastor at the St. Augustine’s Anglican Church in Fulton Place since 2013. Shortly after arriving, Jonathan connected with community members looking for a site to place a community garden. After engaging the Church in the project, a community garden was raised on the East side of the church and continues to thrive with a multigenerational community of gardeners tending 30 individual household beds 8 communal beds and other communal fruit-producing spaces. It is a community organization with a number of Sunday morning members engaged as well.
Jonathan, his wife Megan, 11-year old son, and 8-year old daughter live nearby and have incorporated permaculture design into their yard by adding fruiting trees and shrubs, a large vegetable garden, 3000L of water harvesting structures, rabbits, and honeybees. Most recently, Jonathan and his family added solar panels to their roof.
Jonathan grew up with a forest biologist for a mother and a history of gardening and ecology on both sides of my family. In their 20s, Jonathan and his wife Megan were deeply influenced by some families that lived simply and actively changed their lifestyles in response to disproportional global wealth and environmental injustices. They have become more and more passionate about what individual people can do to change their consumptive paradigms and disconnect from the multinational industrial food and product systems that are currently the norm. It can be done. They are fond readers of Wendell Berry, who has given them so many words and perspectives for living a life of local abundance and gratitude on the land.
Jonathan has been influenced by the concept of biomimicry, which is to observe natural systems and let those principles shape our human practices. In his work in the church, he is aware of how many conventional practices and beliefs are simply unsustainable and disconnected from the world around. The Anglican church is recovering from a colonial past, is acknowledging the need for change, and is seeking to reconcile with the ecological and indigenous roots of this land.
West of the current church building is the original building constructed in 1959. Jonathan and the congregation are presently exploring how best to rehabilitate and use the space to benefit the local neighbourhood. One option is to create a community arts and music space.
Along with updating the building, an expanse of lawn to the West and South is being reimagined. One vision sees the site transformed into a multifunctional forest with edible plants and space for contemplation and reconciliation. He thinks a change in church paradigm requires a change in landscape – from a chemicalized grass monoculture to a biodiverse forest acknowledging the sacredness of the land. A process of community engagement is just beginning to discern what the land is wanting to become.
Hopes For Shrubscriber
Jonathan heard about Shrubscriber when talking to one of the community gardeners and would like to support rewilding projects across the city. He is looking forward to connecting with other members, helping where he can, and gathering ideas to support the church rewilding project.
Learn more about Shrubscriber and connect with members like Jonathan at Shrubscriber.com