United Way unveils large scale community garden project

By Mallory Cramp-Waldinsperger

United Way unveils large scale community garden project
The garden is built on 30,000 sq. ft. of land on Crayola’s property. Photo: Mallory Cramp-Waldinsperger.

United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes had the chance to celebrate the grand unveiling of Edwin Binney’s Community Garden alongside a group of approximately 65 supporters, Saturday. Oftentimes, an unveiling signifies the completion of a project, and the end of a period of growth. For our community, however, this event represents a new future.

“To tackle tough issues such as poverty it is important to build our capacity as a community together. It is equally important to look to different ways of investing and empowering people,” Executive Director of UWCKL, Penny Barton Dyke said in an address to the crowd that assembled at Fleming College Auk’s Lodge.

The garden, which is built on 30,000 sq. ft. of land on Crayola Canada’s property, also represents a new phase in a 30-year partnership between Crayola Canada and UWCKL. “Everyone here lives to help our community, it’s a family tradition for many,” France Tremblay, Product Lifecycle Manager for Crayola Canada said on behalf of her workplace.

As an organization that is heavily involved in the City of Kawartha Lakes, the issue of local food insecurity has “generated a lot of fear and anxiety for … families” in the community, explained Tremblay.

Although the main target of the project is to improve food security and self-reliance in the City of Kawartha Lakes, growing crops is only one piece of the puzzle. Farming has always been a family tradition, passing on skills and information from generation to generation. As the aging population in Lindsay continues to grow, this project will bridge the gap between established experts, agriculture students, and youth with limited access to food literacy.

“I look forward to the coming years where our clients can be involved in a number of different roles,” said Brenda Roxburgh, Executive Director of Victoria County Career Services (VCCS). Roxburgh said that this project is also an “opportunity to create social enterprise.”

Trish O’Connor, Director of Sustainability for Fleming College said at the event that she has “always been amazed by what’s been accomplished in the City of Kawartha Lakes.”

This community approach to agriculture is not a new idea, but it is a growing one. In her speech, O’Connor explained that community agriculture aligns with several of the United Nations’ sustainability goals for 2030, such as sustainable communities and ‘zero hunger.’

With roots planted firmly in a shared passion for community development, the network of stakeholders in this project will continue to expand. United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes hopes to draw on the vibrant resources that Lindsay has to offer in order to sustain an initiative that is bursting with life.

Campaign Chair and Chief of Kawartha Lakes Police Services Mark Mitchell, spoke about his involvement over the past year.

“This year was particularly special as our new Edwin Binney’s Community Garden project transitioned from an idea into reality. Projects like these cannot happen without the support of numerous community partners who graciously donated time, equipment and resources to deliver this unique service to our community.”

1 Comment

  1. robert says:

    this is wonderful, the size is likely to be the only issue you might run into. if you could eventually expand this idea into an in ground garden with more space you could maximize your space and actually possibly support the community realistically though this is such a wonderful start, and than you only need compost not lumber. If you create a large enough garden sharing with birds and critters is a respectful of nature way that is not a problem, they do not eat that much anyways usually. and if they do, also supporting the wildlife is a nice way, as they have been impacted by development issues and land management problems essentially infringing on some of their past feeding grounds. also a garden just for the little guys and critters where they can have safe hiding places maybe in a different location would be so nice for them and they would probably understand there is a garden for them and a different one for the humans so it would be less of a problem as they are smart enough to understand these things. just a few thoughts about what I read. for insects please only if they become too problematic only use natural plant repellants as they also play an important role. if the insects eat a few leaves and a tomato here and there its no problem. but plants that repel insects would be helpful. definitely stay away from pesticides and chemicals. essential oils would be an idea for pest control if needed. maybe just apply to small areas rosemary oil being common these days but just planting rosemary might be easier. a large space that a fruit orchard could be added would be wonderful also. than just mulching with compost and also if you had a vegan plant eating only group of integrity they could do composting toilets and that also is safe good fertilizer when composted for a year but plants not care for carnivore waste. than if you allow everything to go to seed you will eventually get an almost no maintenance garden. just get a slow water flow that moves around the beds or mounds maybe. if you could pass this on to anyone involved, just a few ideas I was working on. eventually a closed loop garden is achievable and you wont even need the lumber and material fees just the area. best of success on the garden project. if you need help let me know.
    warm regards

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