~ a growing and changing community
Rockcliffe-Smythe Community Association is a new partner in the re-launch of the wonderful Community Garden at Marie Baldwin Park sponsored by Unison Health and Community Services and Access Alliance.
We are encouraging any and all residents, experienced and new gardeners and nature enthusiasts to join a growing groups of volunteers to help out and enjoy the fruits of our labour in six garden plots west of Jane, close to Scarlett Rd. and south of Foxwell Ave. for the rest of the growing season, and to plan and prepare for next year. Though spring may have sprung, it is not too late for gardeners of all ages to come and enjoy what the garden has to offer, like the beautiful flowers below, as well as some yummy vegetables.
We spoke to the previous garden lead, Carmen Miloslavich, executive director of the York Hispanic Centre, which helped Unison run the garden for the past few years. Carmen spoke fondly of the garden, what the volunteers grew, and the wonderful sense of community it fostered.
The group grew vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce, squash, zucchini; herbs such as thyme, oregano, and coriander. It was also a great opportunity to learn together, Carmen pointed out, as well as to enjoy each other’s company. None of the food went to waste, as the members would make use of it at the York Hispanic Community Kitchen. However, with many senior volunteers, it became difficult to keep up with maintenance and the distance between the Garden and the Hispanic Centre. Carmen explained that active volunteers who enjoy working outside are among the most important aspects to maintaining a healthy garden – our new challenge now that the garden has changed hands.
Unison has now partnered with Access Alliance to work the garden with the support of Rockcliffe-Smythe Community Association, whose team of summer students have been instrumental in the ongoing planting, weeding and watering needed throughout the season. We’re growing peas, squash, kale, corn, pumpkin, strawberries, red onion, lettuce, and much more.
This is where you come in! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a green thumb, a good hat, or are just interested in volunteering. It’s never too late to enjoy nature’s bounty!
Ayesha Talreja and Sidra Mahmood
Environmental Outreach Workers