EDITOR’S NOTE: Here’s a press release from the City of Ottawa today with some great news for supporters of community gardens. In Stittsville, Kelsey Boggis-da Silva has been pushing for a new community garden in Stittsville since last spring. One possible location is the park between 67 and 77 West Ridge Drive. For more information about her community garden project, check out the Stittsville Community Garden Initiative page on Facebook.
Mayor Jim Watson today announced a proposal to allow for the creation of up to 20 new community gardens over the next four years.
“Community gardens better utilize our public spaces and provide greater food security for residents,” said Mayor Watson. “Volunteer-managed gardens are playing an important community-building role across the city.”
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“This proposal is great news and builds upon the hundreds of volunteers who manage community gardens across the city, and the thousands who are able to participate in community gardening,” Moe Garahan, Executive Director of Just Food. “We’re seeing increased interest for community gardening and we would welcome more support to keep up with the demand.”
Ottawa’s Community Gardening Network is managed by Just Food Ottawa, a community-based, non-profit organization. If the proposal is approved, the City would increase the value of its funding contract to this project by $15,000 annually (from $161,337 to $176,337), increasing the number of grants available for community garden groups. The total number of gardens created through these funds will depend upon the proposed size and cost of each new garden.
There are currently 59 community gardens in the City of Ottawa. Several additional gardens are slated to open this fall, including the South Nepean Muslim Centre Community Garden, Kanata South Community Garden, the LindenLea Food and Wildlife Community Garden, and the Queensway Terrace North Community Garden.
The proposal is related to a campaign commitment made by Mayor Watson during the last municipal election. To date, City Council has supported almost all of these commitments, including those related to affordable housing, economic development, and transportation.
A staff report with full details will be available on ottawa.ca before the end of the day. The Community and Protective Services Committee will consider the proposal on August 20.