Community garden project blossoming into popular program
Local green thumbs have once again been given an opportunity to plant and grow their own vegetable gardens within the community.
The GROWING OUR COMMUNITY - FAMILY GARDEN PROJECT is an organic demonstration farm that features 60 four-by-eight raised-bed garden plots, located near the Multicultural Heritage Centre in Stony Plain.
"The benefits of a community garden – self-reliance, physical activity and social interaction – are substantial and enhance quality of life for all involved," says Ken Lemke, mayor of Stony Plain. “This initiative fosters and strengthens community relationships through public participation. By connecting citizens together, these gardens play an important role in building safer neighbourhoods.”
Launched in 2010, the project is a collaborative venture between the Town, Alberta Parenting for the Future Association (AFPA) and the Stony Plain Multicultural Centre.
Last year, the project offered 40 free plots made available on a first-come, first-served basis. The tremendous success of the program prompted organizers to offer an additional 20 plots in 2011, all of which were reserved well in advance.
To ensure commitment and maintenance, organizers collected deposits, which will be refunded to participants after the beds are cleaned at the end of the season.
As the gardens are organic, participants must use specific fertilizer and pest control products. Special programs will be offered throughout the summer, free to all participants.
About Alberta Parenting for the Future Association (AFPA)
APFA actively engages them in strengthening their connections within their families and community and is dedicated to creating a dynamic centre where families gather to together, connect with each other and strengthen family relationships (source: www.apfa.ca).
About the Multicultural Heritage Centre
The Multicultural Heritage Centre integrates culture, agriculture and social enterprise as the foundation for its social, economic and environmental sustainability (source: www.multicentre.org).
Social Equity, Cultural Vitality and Environmental Responsibility
The community garden project demonstrates the Town’s commitment to:
- social equity: developing and maintaining a community focused on creatively meeting the needs of residents through the promotion of equality, wellbeing, safety, citizen participation and involvement;
- cultural vitality: preserving its culture and heritage while strengthening its sense of connectedness by fostering community support, hospitality and harmony; and
- environmental responsibility: protecting the town’s natural resources and promoting responsible consumption patterns that encourage living within its ecological limits.
Social Equity, Cultural Vitality and Environmental Responsibility are core strategies of the Community Sustainability Plan, which governs how the Town conducts its business.