For us, engaging our community has been like planting a garden. It started slow, with digging and preparing the soil of friendships. For many years we’ve cultivated friendships and community relationships like a gardener would cultivate a garden. We also began with a community garden in Bruce Park, so the metaphor holds.
That first garden in Bruce Park started out small. We didn’t ask for permission or get permits; we just started digging and planting. Since then we’ve benefitted from a collaboration with the City of Windsor to plant gardens in Wigle Park and Mitchell Park, move the Bruce Park garden to the Caron Ave parkette, and we’ve collaborated with the Community Housing Corporation to plant a garden in the heart of the Glengarry social housing community. All of these community gardens are neighbour-led. Many of these gardens feature individual plots for neighbours, as well as community plots for the whole neighbourhood. There are many challenges to community gardening that each group of gardeners navigates together.
Gardens, scholars say, are the first sign of commitment to a community. When people plant corn they are saying, let’s stay here. And by their connection to the land, they are connected to one another. -Anne Raver
To find out more about how you can be involved in one of these community gardens, reach out to Bob Cameron at [email protected] or 519-903-7629.