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.”