We are hoping to add ten more raised garden beds to our Thornbury Community Gardens located at Beaver Valley Community Centre. The Community Gardens have 21 rental garden beds, 3 community garden beds, and a perimeter garden that grows pollinator-friendly plants and edible perennials. The 3 garden beds are designated for the community to grow food – for BVO’s Emergency Food Cupboard, and for direct delivery to community members who have limited access to fresh food.
During the 2020 growing season, gardeners and volunteers were able to safely garden and be a part of a community initiative with all COVID protocol in place. One gardener shared her experience, “I live in a condo and miss my garden from previous homes. The Community Gardens are a great way to fill that gap. Through the pandemic, the garden has been my hideout. Watching the plants grow and being with nature is so relaxing. Thanks BVO for keeping this important project going!”
The therapeutic benefits of gardening are well known, as are its benefits to mental health. In a pandemic, these benefits are amplified, so BVO would like to be able to offer more gardens to our community, especially for those who are isolated, with limited access to an outdoor space for gardening.
The 10 new gardens will all be at an accessible height of about 2 feet with a bench top, making them comfortable for gardening for those who are not able to bend down to the ground for long periods of time. Two of these beds will be designed to be accessible for gardeners who use a mobility aid, such as a wheelchair, scooter, or walker. All the beds, measuring 10 feet x 4 feet, will be available to rent for $60 for the season, with a subsidy available.
The availability of these new beds will be contingent on BVO securing funds through grants, donations and in-kind support to cover the estimated cost of $18,000 needed for this project. This includes the raised bed materials and labour, a porous paving surface called Ecoraster for around the mobility accessible beds, fencing, a water tank, groundwork, and more.
BVO Thornbury Community Gardens coordinator, Kimberly Edwards, will be submitting numerous grant applications this winter to reach this target. Any donations from the community to support this initiative would be greatly appreciated. Please donate online at www.bvo.ca, e-transfer to email@example.com (with Community Garden in the subject line) or send/drop off a cheque to BVO at 54 King Street E, Thornbury ON N0H 2P0.
If you are interested in renting a raised bed when they are ready, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the waiting list.
For more information, please contact BVO at 519-599-2577.