Welcome back to the WRX Property Group! Over the past year or so, we’ve looked at quite a few aspects of what makes life in the Waterloo Region great. From active Neighbourhood and Community Associations, to bustling Downtown (or Uptown) cores, there’s a lot to love here. Today, we’ll be looking at a group that’s dedicated to keeping the Region beautiful and green, and providing everyone with the rewards (and delights) of gardening: the Waterloo Region Community Garden Network!
Let’s hear it in their words, first: “The Waterloo Region Community Garden Network envisions a strong, supportive infrastructure enabling residents to plant and harvest their own food. Our mission is to promote and sustain community gardens throughout Waterloo Region” (Community-Gardens). They support, develop, and sustain community gardens throughout the Waterloo Region, for the benefit of everyone.
The Waterloo Region Community Garden Network plays an integral role in ensuring the Region has plenty of community gardens to enjoy. We’ll link to the Garden Map further down, but as you’ll see, there is an impressive swath of green running through Kitchener-Waterloo, as well as multiple in Cambridge and several spread out the Townships (including four in Elmira alone!). The fact that there are so many here is thanks, in a large part, to the Waterloo Region Community Garden Network.
For community gardens to flourish in the Waterloo Region, there’s quite a bit that needs to be done. From finding appropriate plots of land and reserving them for this function, to maintaining them, cleaning them, organizing harvests, and preparing them for the winter, there’s much planning involved in community gardens. Garden coordinators handle the logistical work, while the WRCGN supports coordinators with regard to any issues that arise, specific garden requests, or connecting gardens with appropriate resources.
The Waterloo Region Community Garden Network also handles the promotional aspects of community gardens. This includes raising awareness amongst local residents (a community garden needs a community!) and establishing connections with the wider food community in the area. Beyond that, the Community Garden Council of Waterloo is a strong advocate for the project on the level of municipal government, working toward policies that will help community gardens across the Region.
Join in the Fun
If you’re looking to join a community garden, it’s quite simple. Just click here to visit their ‘Join a Garden’ page, which includes everything you’ll need to know. If you’re looking to get even more involved, there are additionally quite a few opportunities to do so. The Community Garden Council meets the third Tuesday of almost every month (except for July, and sometimes not in August or December). There are multiple positions on the Council itself, so if you’re passionate about the project and/or have a unique skillset, you are welcomed to attend a meeting and get involved!
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Check out their volunteer page here to find out more. Furthermore, if you’d like to get a sense of what volunteering for the Council entails, you can check out the Council Minutes from past meetings here, and sign up for their monthly newsletter (and peruse past issues) here. Finally, if you’ve got a question for the Community Garden Council, you can contact them here.
Gardens, and gardening, have long been incredibly important to humankind. On the more obvious side, they provide the food we need to sustain ourselves. Yet there’s also something rather special about reconvening with nature – about working with our hands. Particularly as things shift more and more to digital worlds and long-distance communication, and more and more people are detached from the actual process of harvesting the food we sometimes take for granted, having the opportunity to participate in a community garden is very worthwhile.
A community garden is a shared plot of land upon which many people can grow fresh food. As we’ll explore shortly, the particulars of how exactly each community garden functions can vary, but the common feature is that members of the community come together and use the space to plant and harvest. From herbs and vegetables to flowers and fruit, this is the perfect place to grow the things you love.
Not every home has access to a green space, and not everyone is able to fully establish and maintain a garden on their own. Community Gardens open up this healthy, enjoyable, and often delicious, experience to everyone. Community gardens are beautiful, educational areas that provide fresh food to members of the community – this is especially important in city-settings, where nature might feel a bit further away at times. The Community Garden Council of Waterloo ensures that the gardens here are inclusive, safe places that their members can enjoy.
As nice as it is to read about gardens, particularly gardens in the Waterloo Region, it’s often even nicer to go check them out in person. Whether you’re keen to participate in the gardening initiative on a regular basis, or you’d just like to take a look, the Community Garden Council has a couple handy resources for you.
First up, there’s the Garden Map: a map of the Waterloo Region filled with green pins. These pins correspond to gardens throughout Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge and beyond; you can click on them to find out more information.
There’s also the Garden List: this includes the exact address (and name) of each individual community garden. Again, by clicking on any of the gardens’ names, you will be provided with all of the pertinent information (everything from plot size, cost per plot, total number of plots, who it’s open to, a description, and whom to contact for more information).
Keep Waterloo Region Green
There’s one more thing: anyone willing and able to do so is welcome to provide a donation to the Waterloo Region Community Garden Network. It is a wonderful organization dedicated to supporting the community, and every little bit helps. The Council outlines the ways in which your donation will help here, on the Giving Tuesday Waterloo Region website.
If you’re interested in finding out more about real estate in Kitchener-Waterloo and the surrounding areas, please feel free to contact WRX Property Group – we’re happy to help!
Written by Will Kummer
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