Petites idées 10 000 $

Description :

The Simpson Street Community Garden is much more than a garden. The produce grown in the garden this summer is a by-product to the relationships, confidence, respect, learning and enjoyment spending time in the garden offered the community.

Our community garden is located in Thunder Bay’s East End. The East End is a vibrant community, full of families, first-generation immigrants, small businesses, community organizations, churches and elementary schools. In 2012 the East End was devastated by a flood as a result of a record high rainfall. The flood placed stress on a community already dealing with various challenges but brought the community closer; sharing meals, food, shelter, pumping water out of one another's basements, advocating for support and cleaning up streets, parks and sidewalks. It is a community that cares for one another.

This year, the Simpson Street Garden has been a cornerstone project in building community, resilience and developing the connectedness the area experienced post flood. The Simpson Street Garden is an inviting and safe place for individuals of all ages and abilities overseen by community groups and volunteers. It is not fenced; it's open for everyone to walk about and visit. There has not been any vandalism, produce stolen or damage to the garden.

The garden has a regular group of volunteers from all walks of life. It also hosts groups including youth accessing Evergreen a United Neighbourhood, Kairos, the Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre, NorWest’s Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Community Kitchen, Ogden Daycare Centre and several clients of Norwest Community Health Centres. Children from the Ogden Daycare spend time identifying different vegetables, learning about rain water collection and compost. The children harvested potatoes, zucchinis for muffins and several pumpkins for baking and decorating. Between these groups and our volunteers there is someone in the garden almost each day. Anyone who helps in the garden is welcome to take produce on an as needed basis, and we love to share excess with those who live in the neighbourhood. The remaining produce from the garden is being used for fall feasts, incorporated into Evergreen and NorWest’s community kitchens and shared with local families facing challenging times.

What do we need Aviva's help with?:

1) We want to expand the accessibility of the garden. We want to build raised beds so individuals who use walkers, wheelchairs or have gait challenges can sit and stand comfortably while working in the garden. Our garden is uneven and challenging for individuals who are not sure on their feet, which limits the involvement these folks can have in the garden. Raised beds also thaw out earlier than ground level gardens, giving us the opportunity get back into the garden earlier in spring.

2) Most volunteers and groups garden during the daytime. Our long summer days are hot, and there is currently no option for our gardeners to get out of the sun. We would like to build benches and a structure, (a pergola or gazebo) to offer some shelter from the sun and a place for community members to sit and stay a while in the garden.

3) We want to add fruit trees to our community garden space, both for increased shade, and the prospect of harvesting fruit in a couple years. Fruit trees also attract pollinators, which our garden needs more of.

4) The Garden is reliant on rain barrels and run off or water being donated from community members. Rain barrel collection is a great environmental and learning tool, but not ideal as the sole source for water as we had limited rain this season. The garden was established on an old building lot, and a water source exists underneath the fill. We need funds to locate the source and put a seasonal water tap in place.

With Aviva's help, this garden has the potential to reach more families, more volunteers and increase connectedness

Broker supported

NorWest Community Health Centres

Emplacement : Thunder Bay