Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION
Gardening event brings produce, pride back to community
Summer will bloom with an extra pop of colour for a small group of residents in the Westdale community.
On Sat., June 2, members from Grace and Assiniboia-Charleswood community churches came together for Westgrove in Bloom, hosting a community barbecue and delivering free bedding plants, vegetable plants and seeds for the neighbourhood housing complex.
"We want residents in the area to know there are people in the community who care about them," said Paul Ford, a youth pastor at Grace Community Church who helped co-ordinate the event.
Westgrove residents had plenty of options to choose from for their home gardens, from petunias and geraniums to snap dragons. Vegetables included peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, onions and tomatoes.
The plants and produce were donated by local businesses including Shelmerdine Garden Centre, Knowles Greenhouses, and Bloomers.
"It’s pride of ownership. It literally allows community ventures to sink their roots down," said Gavin Hall, associate pastor of Assiniboia-Charleswood Community Church.
"People are taking pride and ownership of this space and making it theirs."
The Manitoba Housing complex has undergone major renovations over the past two years, said Valerie Christie, who runs the community’s resource centre.
Renovations included fresh facades for all of the homes, resodding, a small play area and swing set for children, and revamped backyards complete with garden space for tenants.
The event was a major boost for residents, Christie said.
"People here rarely get fresh fruits and vegetables. How much more fresh can we get (now)? If they feel like having a tomato, it’s going to be there" Christie said.
"It’s more than we could have hoped for. When you’re isolated in a community like this, there’s a feeling no one’s listening.
"With this, there’s a feeling there are people out there that give a hoot," she said.
Veggies being grown in the community will be used to help stock the centre’s community kitchen, Christie said.
Resident Donna Woroniuk said her backyard was an open pit when she moved into the complex last December.
The gardens will go a long way to instill pride in the community, and help occupy the minds of the area’s 72 children, she said.
"People take care of things that look nice," Woroniuk said.
"And around here, there’s not much do. The kids can watch and learn. The children love it."
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(1 of 14 articles for this week)05/22/2013 1:00 AM 0
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