PARRSBORO – Residents here will soon have a new opportunity to grow their own food, as a community garden is being planned for the property next door to town hall on Eastern Avenue.
Recreation director Tissy Bolivar said she hopes to see the project – which is being done in partnership between the town and the SPAR community health board - up and running in a few weeks.
“The garden is something that has been on the recreation committee’s radar for the past year,” said Bolivar. “I think it was originally brought to our committee by (former councillor Dawn McCully.) She kept bringing it back and we discussed it at many meetings, then it was brought to our attention this year by Frank Hartman, who is also involved with SPAR, who said it was something they were also talking about at their meetings.”
Bolivar and Coun. David Harrison, who chairs the recreation committee, then met with Colleen Dowe, community health board co-ordinator with the Cumberland Health Authority, and formed a partnership that will see the health board provide the funding for the project while the recreation committee takes responsibility for the construction and maintenance.
The garden plots will be in 20 raised beds, each of them 5’x3’ in size. They will be situated on gravel, with pathways between to make for easy access.
“We’re going to make some beds higher for people who may be in a wheelchair or have mobility issues where they can’t get up and down easily,” she explained.
Once it is up and running, Bolivar said she plans to arrange education sessions in which she will bring in people with gardening expertise. These sessions will be open to everyone, not just those with plots in the garden.
The benefits of the project will be plentiful, she said.
“It’s something all ages can do,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to grown your own fresh produce. It’s teaching people gardening skills they can take on and develop on their own. It’s free, and it’s something anyone can do, which is the biggest part of it.”
Some details of the project have yet to be worked out, e.g. how the plots will be assigned, but the plan is to have it ready for this year’s growing season.
There is potential to expand the garden, if interest warrants it.
Those interested in taking part can contact Tissy Bolivar at 254-2036.