No need to say much. This video speaks for itself. Here is an example of how when we get kids sowing together, they’re growing together in more ways then we could imagine. Kids understanding the importance of social responsibility. It’s absolutely amazing.
We hosted an open house on Thursday, August 22nd at 730pm, in our designated green space. We were quite pleased with the turn out (approx. 25 people). There were a number of great ideas generated. Thank you to everyone for coming! A special thankyou to Rolly Ashdown, our Reeve and Councillor for attending and your show of support. Also a special thankyou to Greg Van Soest, (Rockyview County, Municipal Lands Specialist) for attending, your experience and expertise is invaluable. We were also very fortunate to have a representative from the Langdon Community Association. Our partners, comrades and friends.
If you weren’t able to attend, we plan on having a representative at the next town hall meeting coming soon!
Here’s a brief synopsis of what was discussed.
- We introduced several members of our gardening team, how the project came to be and our communications thus far with our local and surrounding food banks.
- We announced that given the degree of trepidation from the residents who live directly adjacent to the proposed garden site, we have postponed commencement of our build until the Spring of 2014, to allow them more time to consider the site plan, offer their input and suggestions and join the team.
We addressed various concerns expressed on the blog site such as:
1) concerns around erecting wood fences – it was suggested that home owners refer to their land titles, under “Architectural controls”, there will be a caveat pertaining to fencing. Someone suggested that this caveat might have expired after 7 years, and wood fencing may in fact be a possibility. Adjacent residents are concerned about how the activity in the garden will affect their privacy, dogs, etc.
2) Designated Parking space – requests were made to move the parking space across the front and easternmost part of the plot, so as not to have a congestion of vehicles to one side of the plot.
3) Crime – concerns were expressed as to whether the threat of crime has been considered. A number of community gardens within Calgary as well as Airdrie have been interviewed. Crime is not a significant issue for community gardens. Involving adjacent residents and community stakeholders will be our best defence against crime. CPTED principles (crime prevention through environmental design) have also been researched and a representative contacted in Strathmore.
4) Children’s area sandbox – concerns around the sandbox becoming the resident “litter box” were expressed. Suggestions such as including a lid for the sandbox or having a large checker board was recommended.
5) Reassurance was given that the community garden team will be responsible for maintenance of the plot and strict standards will be adhered to.
6) Greg (Rockyview County) spoke to a succession plan if at any time, the community garden does not succeed. Garden plots would then serve as great perennial and shrub beds and the property returned to the LCA and Rockyview County to maintain.
Sponsorship – A grant has been obtained from Communities ChooseWell through Alberta Parks and Recreation. Monies from this grant will go toward start up costs (i.e. advertisement, purchase of water tank, tools and building of the parking space). Sponsorship packages are being created for local and surrounding businesses. Sign Concepts (Langdon) has kindly donated their services, creating namesake signage for the food bank plots. An example of the signage was presented at the meeting.
Other suggestions – include a bike rack, explore the option of direct irrigation, fruit trees, 15ft buffer from adjacent residents property line to plot
The meeting was adjourned at approx. 9 pm.
We are very thankful to adjacent residents for attending the meeting and embracing this idea. We look forward to working with this thriving community to make this a space other communities will admire and envy.
If you have any questions about the meeting, please feel free to send us your questions and we will address them as soon as possible. Happy Harvesting everyone!!!!
A bit of history as to how this team came together.
In April, a few people in our community, were looking for ways they could give back, help others, and engender a more philanthropic spirit here in Langdon. We came up with the idea of growing fresh foods for our local and surrounding food banks. We called SE Rockyview Food Bank, Chestermere Food Bank as well as the Strathmore Food Bank, and they all identified a lack of available fresh foods for the people they serve. Our community, our neighbors and for some, our family and friends.
So, we approached the LCA (Langdon Community Association), to see if there might be an area in the park, that we could use to build food bank plots. The LCA was supportive of the idea and we began our search for the best spot. In the meantime, Rockyview County, suggested that one of their green spaces might be an ideal spot for a project of this nature. Given the area they were suggesting nicely buffered by two rows of residences, the team thought, “wouldn’t it be great to make this a beautiful space, with perennial gardens, trees, a children’s plot, pathways, and rows of fruit trees? Lets have garden plots available for lease, making it a sustainable space, and one the community and neighborhood could be proud of!”.
We then did our research. We visited three other community gardens and spoke to their organizers. We followed the Calgary Horticultural societies guidelines for best practices in developing community gardens, we attended conferences, we applied for non-profit status, made a website, posted our intentions through facebook, and put brochures and flyers around town. We patiently waited for the formal process of the County to lease the plot to the LCA, who then, agreed to sub lease it to the community garden team. . We were so fortunate to have a very skilled landscape designer draw out a beautiful design for us to post on our website, at the Town Hall meeting and Langdon days. We contacted persons with training in CPTED (crime prevention through environmental design) principals and we are now looking to engender sponsorship from local and surrounding businesses to help fund the project. Once we knew we had the space (phewf), it was time to get the word out to those living adjacent to the plot. We imagined that with all this planning and preparation, (including a 6 page document on how we plan on implementing the project) people would be as thrilled and excited as we are, eager to be involved, wanting to learn more on how they can have a positive impact on their community. Well, not entirely what we expected. Ouch!
What we want you to take from this is, we’re just a group of people, who want to grown some food for our impoverished neighbors, and in the meantime, make it easier, for our communities citizens, to grow their own fresh foods, make healthy choices, and live better lives.
Please, take the time to review the content on our website. The research we’ve done, all the factors we’ve considered.
Read the attached research paper on how community gardens improve property values.
Take a breath, and take some time to consider not only how this project could have a lasting positive impact for you, your family and your community, but how you, might in turn have a positive impact on this project.
There are so many things, that our garden team is excited about pertaining to this project, but one of the most exciting parts, is the idea of involving children in the project.
Isn’t that what it’s all about? “Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day, teach a man to fish…” you get the idea right?
Schools, clubs, dayhomes, teens, toddlers, all kids, all shapes, sizes and abilities.
When kids grow fresh, healthy foods, kids will eat fresh healthy foods.
Watch them pull a carrot out of the ground, wipe the dirt off on their pants, and munch away. Raspberry stained hands, pea shells all over the ground. It doesn’t get much better people.
Oh,the thought of it gives me goose bumps.
Is this great or what? We had an idea, we presented the idea to the right people, and POOF, we’re creating a community garden! Thank you first to the LCA, for embracing this idea and being facilitators for the space. Thank you to Rockyview County, for your valuable resources, experience and expertice, we are so thrilled to partner with you! A big THANK YOU to Communities ChooseWell through Alberta Parks and Recreation. Without this grant to get us on our feet, we don’t know how we would get up and running.
So, enought of that! What YOU want to know is, “where are you in this process?”
We have a group of approximately 10 dedicated volunteers, ready to start working their magic, engendering support and sponsorship for this project in our community. We’re getting the word out, talking to the community, attending town hall meetings, handing out brochures (check it out under publications), talking to businesses and making a site plan so that anyone and everyone knows how they can be involved, what the community garden would mean for its citizens and the people it will serve.
We’re pricing out the project, cost of plots, children’s area and garden, teen gardens, mulch, soil, water, power, parking….the whole enchillada.
So when you see our pretty pamphlets, grab one, read up on the project, and come and join the team!!