NOTEBOOK: Stewardship Council lends its support to a food forest for Blackstone Park

Looking west towards the future Blackstone Community Park. This sign is close to the Monahan Drain, part of the neighbourhood's stormwater infrastructure. Photo by Glen Gower.

You may remember Paul Wilson’s idea for a permaculture food forest at Blackstone Park that we published a couple of weeks ago. Now the idea is getting support from the Ottawa Stewardship Council (OSC), a local volunteer organization that promotes and maintains healthy environments.

 

From their web site:

“It’s a July summer day in Stittsville only three years from now. In the new, open-to-the-sky hardscape of a new neighbourhood people naturally converge on Blackstone Park with its splash pad, tennis courts, children’s play area, and wood chip pathways that lead to cooling green space. Walking between the soccer fields many are drawn to the bright flowers, sounds of birds, and dancing butterflies at the southern edge of the park. The path meanders into an oasis: a meadow set with young saplings of oak, butternut, and hickory that promise a future harvest. The licorice smell of elderberry blossoms fills the air. Fruit has started to set on the wild blackberries, raspberries, and grape vines. Pollinators flit among the flowers. People sit on the benches to relax, children chase butterflies, blood pressures lower, a sense of well-being pervades.

We support Community Champion Paul Wilson in his goal to create a food forest area within the new Blackstone Park. “

The group’s chair, Janet Mason, has written a letter of support to  the City outlining why the council support the idea. (You can download the PDF document here.) Some highlights:

“The OSC can work with the BFCCA to obtain grants that pay for the trees, shrubs, seeds, benches, and interpretive signs at no cost to the City,” writes Mason. “Best of all, this bold vision for a natural, edible area within a new suburban park will benefit the nascent Blackstone community early on and long into the future. It will also be a focus for community stewardship and collaboration, and serve as an example for other new neighbourhoods to follow…”

“In the recent survey conducted by the Blackstone Fernbank Crossing Community
Association, “Natural Environment” was rated as the most highly valuable aspect of the
park by more respondents (97 out of 183) over any other category. “Over 36% (79 out of 216) rated having a permaculture/food forest area in the park as Very Important or
Somewhat Important. Both of these desires can be accommodated in the same area with
no impact on other planned facilities or on the cost of the park…”

***

The council is already involved in two partnerships in the Stittsville area:


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3 thoughts on “NOTEBOOK: Stewardship Council lends its support to a food forest for Blackstone Park”

  1. This is such a wonderful project. Uplifting on a cold February morning. As a senior living close by, I certainly would like to be involved.
    Best wishes in all your endeavors.

  2. Everyone who is interested in supporting, volunteering or being involved in the creation, evolution and growth of a Blackstone Food Forest can contact me and join in the fun.

    At this time, individuals submitting supportive input/comments can help the city with finalizing the initial plans. The City is encouraging residents to provide their feedback on the proposed plans to:
    * Councillor Shad Qadri at Qadri@ottawa.ca
    * City Planner Jennifer Shepherd at Shepherd@ottawa.ca

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