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June 26, 2014

Create a Humane Backyard at Your Place of Worship

  • Create a peaceful, nurturing haven for the natural world at your place of worship. iStockphoto.com

  • Your Humane Backyard can help feed people in your community when you Plant a Row for the Hungry. Janet Snyder/The HSUS

  • Humane Backyards are a source of natural beauty in every season. iStockphoto

  • Make your congregation's outdoor space a place to celebrate and nurture the natural world and find spiritual refreshment. Nancy Lawson/The HSUS

Through the ages, a faith-based awareness of the need to care for creation—all that is and of the Earth—has been documented in the writings and beliefs of religions worldwide.

If we learn to love the earth, we will find labyrinths, gardens, fountains and precious jewels! A whole new world will open itself to us."—St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)

Today, congregations can transform the outdoor spaces at their places of worship into Humane Backyards.

Humane Backyards are peaceful havens for all of God’s creatures. They are habitats that shelter and feed native wildlife while bringing natural beauty and spiritual nourishment to the community.

We'll help you start your Humane Backyard project

Creating (and maintaining) a Humane Backyard is perfect for youth groups and seasonal projects.

Beginning with ideas from The Humane Society of the United States, take the first steps in making your space a haven for creatures great and small. Bring joy to your faith community with these inspirational projects, or create your own!

Your Humane Backyard will nurture your community

A Humane Backyard is for everyone. So while you plant native trees, bushes and flowers to benefit local wildlife, consider adding a row or more of local vegetables to nourish people in your community. Take part in Plant a Row for the Hungry and feed families and build communities while supporting the natural world.

A clever man takes the essence from multiple sources and scriptures, just as the bee extracts nectar from several flowers."—Bhagavata Purana 11.8.9-10

Pledge to build a Humane Backyard

We're excited to share our tips for creating a Humane Backyard with you! And we hope you'll join the many people and groups who have taken the Humane Backyard pledge.

When you pledge to create a Humane Backyard, The HSUS will send you a beautiful sign to display on your property, as well as a subscription to our award-winning All Animals magazine.

You can also receive other materials, such as Kind News, The HSUS’s children’s magazine, which includes Humane Backyard tips and additional activities for the younger members of your faith group.

Inspire others with your Humane Backyard

When you're ready, show off your Humane Backyard project with a photo and description—and the hashtag #HumaneBackyard—in a post to Facebook or a blog. Or, if you prefer short and sweet, tweet or post to Instagram or Pinterest. We can’t wait to share the good news about your Humane Backyard project!

I believe in my heart that faith in Jesus Christ can and will lead us...to the broader concern for the well-being of the birds in our backyards, the fish in our rivers, and every living creature on the face of the earth."—John Wesley (1701-1791).

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