Back in 2011, with the community garden at Sheppard Family Park full, people started asking about whether additional community gardens might be available. In 2012 a survey was completed showing solid support for having more community garden spaces.
The Flood… washed out everything and dreams were temporarily abandoned…
In early 2015 a new online survey was completed. Of those completing the survey 96% were in favour of new community gardens. A grant application to develop two new community garden sites in High River was submitted to the TD Friends of the Environment Fund and was partly funded with a $10,000 grant.
The seed money from TD was a strong factor in igniting the establishment of the community gardens. We are so grateful for your donation.
In 2015 the Ad Hoc Community Garden Committee was struck by Council and charged with recommending two sites and helping get the gardens built and structured so that they could be eventually run independent of the Town.
The project team included Leslie Scrimshaw, Lynda Toffelmire, Tamara Windsor, Matt Kristiansen and Kevin Poettcker. Sarah Mitchell served as the Town liaison.
After finding two locations to develop and worked to talk to adjacent community property owners to get buy in. While a few neighbours had issues many actually signed up to rent plots. We did our best to design gardens that would work for just about everyone.
Our next order of business was to develop a budget and secure additional funds. Here it turned out the flood was kind of a good thing...
The Ad Hoc committee working with our Town rep put together a budget for the build. The total including fencing, soil, sheds, plant materials for food forest, construction equipment rentals, irrigation and so on was $73,262.
We asked for and received $43,262 through the disaster relief fund. The balance included $10,000 from TD, $10,000 for project management from the Town and $10,000 in donated or discounted equipment and goods from local businesses.
The committee, called CDAC, awarded us the full $43,262. Thank you so much!
We were just about to start our build when Sarah, our Town rep, came to the end of her contract. There wasn't anyone at the Town available to do the on the ground project management.
Matt Kristiansen stepped up. His company did the project management for the major construction phase of the two gardens. This was a massive and totally volunteer commitment. He and his company were named Business Volunteer of the Year in 2017.
We can't thank you enough Matt.
The following businesses either made outright donations of goods, equipment rentals and services or gave us discounts on these needed things. If I missed someone please let me know...
Thank you so so much we couldn't have done it without you.
The build relied on a massive effort of many many volunteers.
I'm going to thank you all here now but watch this space for a few photos from the construction coming soon.
I do want to acknowledge Kim Unger who was our Town rep for getting bills paid. She was unable to serve as an on the ground project manager due to a massive flood related workload but she did show up with her partner to help work on some of her days off. Thanks Kim.