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Corner Brook adding three new community gardens, neighbourhood composting

There are currently two community gardens in Corner Brook, including one at Brandon Park on the Humber Heights where, from left, Mazie Pendleton, Jennifer Pendleton and Jeri Graham tend plots. CONTRIBUTED
There are currently two community gardens in Corner Brook, including one at Brandon Park on the Humber Heights where, from left, Mazie Pendleton, Jennifer Pendleton and Jeri Graham tend plots. CONTRIBUTED - Saltwire
CORNER BROOK, N.L. —

The City of Corner Brook will be adding three more community gardens, including neighbourhood composters, in 2020.

City council passed a motion during its public meeting Feb. 10 to enter into a funding agreement with the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board (MMSB). It will apply for $10,000 to purchase composters and authorize city staff to execute the terms of the agreement in carrying out the community garden and compost project.

The new gardens will be located at the playgrounds on Reid Street and on Caribou Road near the Bliss Street intersection, as well as on Bartlett’s Avenue in Curling.

Composters will be located at each of the new gardens.

The city will apply to the MMSB’s waste management trust fund for community waste diversion projects.

Mayor Jim Parsons told The Western Star after the public meeting that he wasn’t sure whether the funds would cover the total cost of the composters.

During the meeting, Councillor Vaughn Granter said the project would benefit the city in a number of ways: diverting organic waste from regional waste management facilities, increasing environmental sustainability and better community food security, enacting social cohesion at the neighborhood level, enhancing greater use of public space, and public education on food production, composting and environmental values.

Parsons told The Western Star the composters will allow residents to dispose of their organic waste in a more environmentally friendly way.

“As well, it’s great food for the gardens,” he added.

The city is working on the gardens in tandem with the Western Environment Centre, which currently manages the city’s two community gardens located in the Humber Heights area and near the Blow-Me-Down Trails cross country ski park on Lundrigan Drive.

Katie Temple, the centre's executive director, said the group was working on a memorandum of understanding with the City of Corner Brook to determine responsibilities for the new gardens.

Katie Temple, executive director of the Western Environment Centre in Corner Brook, is excited to see more support for community garden projects in the city. CONTRIBUTED
Katie Temple, executive director of the Western Environment Centre in Corner Brook, is excited to see more support for community garden projects in the city. CONTRIBUTED

Temple said the expectation is the environment centre would coordinate the garden, recruit gardeners, handle registration and communication, while the city would provide the support and labour.

“We still have to work out some of the specific details because this is very much preliminary,” Temple told The Western Star. “We are intending to do it, but there are still a lot more fine details to work out.”

Temple said the centre was excited to see the community garden project receive more municipal support.

“It has so many different benefits,” she said.

She highlighted the importance of food security and developing skills and also supported the idea that the community gardens could become neighborhood hubs.

The centre will seek feedback from different neighborhoods to find out what they’d like to see at the future community gardens.

“Hopefully we can create really nice communal green spaces where kids can play and people can come together and can maybe fit the interests and needs of lots of different people,” she said.

Parsons suggested there could be an “ongoing expansion” of community gardens in Corner Brook in the future.

“The current ones have good uptake, the people typically rent the beds for a nominal fee,” he said. “We expect they will be popular and we’re working with our partner who is very good at working with the local residents to build successful community gardens.”

Parsons anticipates there will be 10 to 15 beds per garden.

The city will schedule public information sessions throughout the winter and will look to recruit people who wish to participate in the community gardens.

The dates and locations of the meetings are to be determined.

They will start work on the garden once the snow melts.

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