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Successful First Year for Hanna Park Community Garden

By City Staff

Hanna Park Community Garden’s first year has been a success for the Sarnia Community Collaborative and neighbours of the garden.

With some help from Sarnia’s Parks and Recreation Department, the Sarnia Community Collaborative started the garden this spring to advance its goal to bring neighbours together and revitalize the community.

“Growing food is a vehicle to bring people together,” explains Steve Coupland, Founder of the Sarnia Community Collaborative.

The garden features 21 plots, a mix of neighbour-run plots and community-run plots, each approximately 4 feet by 6 feet, and free to rent. Gardeners are growing tomatoes, peppers, chard, broccoli, cucumbers, pumpkins, squash, watermelon, and more.

The City provided seedlings from the Germain Park greenhouse to help start the community project. “The parks and rec team is really great; they provide our water by regularly refilling rain barrels and they will compost the garden materials at the end of the season,” explains Steve Coupland.

The City’s Parks and Recreation Department has welcomed this project. “Any time there is an opportunity for activity within our parks that engages the community and provides an outlet for a positive and active lifestyle we certainly try to provide support,” states Ryan Chamney, Manager of Recreation and Planning.

The garden has brought life into the small Mitton Street park. Mary Anne Wighton, neighbour to the garden says, “I’ve lived here 35 years and never seen so many people in the park. It’s a very positive use for this space.”

Neighbour, Alyssa Duguay, explains that the garden has served as a good learning opportunity for her children who now have a better appreciation and understanding of where their food comes from.

“It’s been neat seeing an increase in adults and families in the park. Kids who ‘don’t like vegetables’ are picking and eating which is fun to see too,” says Steve Coupland.

In commitment to neighbours of the park, a Community Garden Cleanup Day will be held October 16, 2016. “It’s also an opportunity to celebrate what we’ve achieved and rally behind the continuation of the garden next year,” says Steve Coupland.

Neighbours and interested community members are invited to the Community Garden Cleanup Day to learn more about the garden and how to get involved next year. 

This article was posted Friday, October 7, 2016 9:03 AM

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