NOTEBOOK: No food forest (yet) for Blackstone Community Park

Blackstone park concept

City of Ottawa staff received plenty of comments about the proposed plan for the new Blackstone Community Park, but in the end won’t be making any major changes for the final plans.

That’s according to Councillor Shad Qadri, who shared an update earlier today on his web site. He also posted a summary of all of the comments received – and staff responses – broken into 23 categories.

One of the most intriguing ideas for the park was put forward by Paul Wilson, who wanted to see a portion of the park turned into a permaculture food forest.  Alas, the idea “is not possible under the current city programs and maintenance regimes,” according to a memo from city staff.  But they do suggest a compromise:

“As a compromise within Blackstone Park an area will be designated that could be used for food production should the community group proceed with the community garden application. This area will be subject to all of the current City of Ottawa Community Garden Standards for community gardens.

A naturalization area will be designated on the plan that will be planted with tall grass and wild flowers at the time of park development. An area within this naturalized zone will be designated on the plan that could, under Forestry’s supervision, be planted with fruit and nut bearing native trees and shrubs in the future under the community tree-planting program.

As the park design proceeds through working drawings and construction the developer will be encouraged (budget dependent) to provide a water source close to the designated area that could be used for food production.”

Here’s a summary of all the comments received.

Qadri says the next step will be to prepare detailed construction drawings. There’s no timeline yet for construction.


Meanwhile at William Bradley Park in the new Porter Place development, the City will be moving foward with a children’s play area.

“The majority of respondents to the William Bradley Park posting commented that they would prefer a children’s play area to adult fitness. Thus, the consultant will proceed with developing a plan with a play area in the park; however, efforts will be made to source play equipment that is fitness oriented, and can be used by a wide range of visitors,” wrote Qadri.



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