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!!!!