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Community gardens are important neighbourhood gathering places that promote environmental sustainability, learning opportunities, urban greening and the development of stronger communities. They provide a place for multiple generations to interact and socialize, exercise, and grow food and medicinal plants. Community gardens have the potential to achieve multiple social, environmental and economic benefits.
Lakehead University Orillia's community garden will be composed of three parts: a vegetable garden; an indigenous plant medicinal garden to be used by Elders for their teaching; and a butterfly garden. Members of the community will have the opportunity to grow fruits and vegetables on 50 plots available from April to September. While attending to their plots, gardeners will be invited to take part in special teaching and meditations offered by our Aboriginal community in the medicinal garden. Butterflies attracted to the plants in the butterfly garden will serve as pollinators.
The total area of the gardens is approximately 20,000 sq.ft., of which 10,000 sq. ft. will be allocated to the vegetable garden, containing 50 200 sq. ft. plots The remainder of the area will be occupied by the butterfly and medicinal gardens.
RESOURCE NEEDS AND OPPORTUNITIES
For the establishment of these gardens, an initial investment of $40,000 is required. This investment will be used to purchase a shed, rototiller, fencing, tools, compost and seeds and to supply irrigation. Irrigation will be the factor most critical to the ongoing success of the gardens and will require water sourcing from a drilled well, a dug pond or collected rainwater. Water pumps and irrigation hoses will also need to be purchased. In keeping with Lakehead University's emphasis on environmental sustainability, the pumps and overall irrigation system will be powered with solar cells. Finally, $5,000 would be used to support a manager to oversee the proper use of the gardens. This position could be filled by a Lakehead University student as a summer employment opportunity. After the initial investment of $30,000, the garden would require an annual investment of $8,000.
For more information contact:
705-330-4008 ext 2080