OPEN HOUSE: Allard St. Community Garden celebrates 10th Anniversary

ALLARD STREET COMMUNITY GARDEN CELEBRATES MILESTONE YEAR

The Allard Street Community Garden, located at 105 Allard St. is extending a warm invitation to the general public to visit its site on Saturday, June 23, 2012 from 10-4 pm to tour its lush vegetable gardens and fruit orchard and meet some of its members. The garden, created in July 2003 with the aid of a Trillium Foundation grant and the hard work of the Sault Ste. Marie Horticultural Society and six partnering organizations, is celebrating its 10th year of operation.

This organic garden offers interested citizens of all ages, incomes and abilities the opportunity to rent 60 garden plots and 7 raised planter boxes in which they can grow healthy, nutritious and affordable food that would otherwise not be available to them for the low cost of $20/year. It has become a second home to many who live in apartments or who have no access to green space in our city.

“I am amazed at all the changes that have occurred during the past ten years. Our fruit orchard and raspberry bushes are teeming with fruit and our perennial border that recently underwent a facelift is now awash with colour and bustling with life as evidenced by the presence of birds and beneficial insects. It is exhilarating to know that this garden has grown incrementally year after year to meet the needs of a growing and diverse membership and has served as a model for others to create additional community gardens in our city such as the People’s Garden at Algoma University and the newly formed one located at St. Matthews Anglican Church” states Suzanne Hanna, Garden Coordinator.

Passionate gardeners clearly understand what the Allard Street Community Garden stands for. They realize that they just don’t grow vegetables in their plots. They grow hope and cultivate a sense of community when they work together towards a common goal. The garden promotes self-reliance by helping people to help themselves and values team work, cooperation, service and lifelong learning. Most of all, this community garden honours diversity and respect for all living things.

It is especially poignant this year that as the garden membership celebrates its many blessings they are ever mindful of some of their members who are no longer with them. A memorial bed sporting plaques bearing the names of such passionate gardeners and two new benches courtesy of Clean North will be acknowledged during a special ceremony during the Open House.

Someone once said, “Gardens don’t grow just where they’re sown; they spread out runners, teaching the young, inspiring the old and giving neighbourhoods new hope.”

If you are in the neighbourhood, stop by. The garden is open from 8 am to 8 pm, Monday through Sunday, from April to October. Open the gate and have a look at the Allard Street Community Garden, one of our city’s “best kept secrets”.

Better still, take part in this year’s Open House on Saturday, June 23rd from 10 am – 4 pm and visit the various displays and demonstrations. Have a piece of cake under the shade structure and allow the beauty and serenity of the garden to seep into your soul.

For more information, contact Suzanne Hanna at 705-759-2893 or by email at wildgardener@shaw.ca