As spring approaches, we at Imago turn our attention to getting the preserve ready for more visitors. It’s a busy time of year as Imago hosts several hundred volunteers in service outings. All of our volunteers spend a little bit of time at our preserve getting to know about our mission and then rolling up their sleeves to work on trails, gardens, habitat restoration, and all the myriad other things that are needed to maintain and beautify Imago’s nature preserve.

On Sunday, March 17th, we hosted another volunteer group, but this one with a unique focus. On this day we hosted our 4th annual Interfaith day of service in partnership with amazing organizations, each representing different faiths and communities in the Greater Cincinnati area. Over 60 teens from the Catholic, Muslim, Jewish and Protestant communities came for an afternoon of fun activities, service, dialogue, and pizza.

Unfortunately, we’ve all been recently reminded of the need for solidarity after the tragic events at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and in Christchurch, New Zealand. Thankfully, we have this example of these wonderful teens and their amazing adults to give us hope. And what better place to bring people together in hope than in nature.

After some fun Imago Icebreakers (which included a rock, paper, scissors inspired game), our volunteers were given a quick overview of the jobs and then we got going. We spent time working on our entrance path, our labyrinth and the picnic area. After working we shared in a pizza dinner and group discussions. As the event was closing, the Jewish students came forward with a special gift for the Muslim youth group: a beautiful poster with the Crescent and Star alongside the Star of David expressing solidarity with the signatures of the entire Jewish youth group.

At Imago, we are so grateful to be a part of this experience and we thank our friends at the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, Mayerson JCC of Cincinnati, J-Serve, the Union for Reformed Judaism NFTY Ohio Valley, Trinity Lutheran Church of Mt. Healthy, McNicholas High School, Ursuline High School, and Mercy McAuley High School, for including us in this wonderful day of service.