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Growing Faith

Posted by Nina Bhattacharyya, Senior Technical Specialist, USDA Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production in Farming Initiatives
Jun 06, 2024
Tri-Faith gardeners at the People’s Garden dedication

The Tri-Faith Unity Garden and Hope Orchard, a USDA People’s Garden in Omaha, Nebraska, is a natural healing space where people of three faiths gather through the Tri-Faith Initiative. This unique interfaith project —including a synagogue, church, and mosque along with the garden— is a space where people can practice their faith while connecting, learning, and growing through the vision of “a world in which differences are honored, similarities are built upon, and everyone belongs.”

Gardens have long been a source of connection within communities, bringing together people of different backgrounds and belief systems. At Tri-Faith, the act of planting seeds and tending the garden has led to new friendships, shared ownership and cooperation, and an important way to address food insecurity in larger Omaha. This past season alone, they donated over 8,000 lbs. of produce to their community.

Connecting people with nature is also an important component. The gardeners incorporate sustainable practices, including use of compost, drip irrigation, pollinator habitat, and biochar in the garden. They are partnering with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and Nature Sacred to ensure that the Tri-Faith continues to grow as a natural sanctuary for the surrounding community.

Tri-Faith gardeners at the People’s Garden dedication

Tri-Faith, USDA, and partners recently gathered at the garden as part of the “Summit to Counter Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and Related Forms of Hatred and Bias”, to dedicate the Unity Garden as a People’s Garden. The Summit included attendees from across rural America with the aim of advancing understanding for religious discrimination victims; learning about solutions; and identifying ways interfaith leaders and government can help. This is part of the USDA and the Tri-Faith Initiative partnership to share effective strategies for developing inclusive interfaith environments and building solidarity.

If you are in the Omaha-area, stop by and connect with the community, volunteer in the garden, or simply enjoy a peaceful space in the city.

Join the USDA People’s Garden network today to learn and connect with fellow gardeners across the country!

Learn more about the U.S. National Strategies to Counter Antisemitism, Islamophobia and related forms of hatred and bias.

View the U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism: Key Actions by Pillar (PDF)

View the White House Statement on the Establishment of a National Strategy to Counter Islamophobia (PDF)

View of garden terracing to prevent erosion and expand area to grow produce
Category/Topic: Farming Initiatives