Ottawa Public Health supports opening of community gardens

(Kim Bonin, Manager of Jo-Jo’s Community Garden in Stittsville at the entrance to the garden. Photo: Stittsville Central.) 

Community gardens were included in the recently announced closures of recreational spaces. As of April 21, 2020 there have been 7,108 people from all corners of Ontario who added their signature to an open letter to Premier Doug Ford and members of the provincial legislature to consider exempting outdoor community gardens from closure for the health of residents.

The Ottawa Board of Health has realized the importance of food produced at community gardens as an integral source of nutrition for our communities. At this week’s meeting, Councillor Keith Egli put forward a motion asking the province to allow community gardens to operate as an essential service while practicing physical distancing. In Québec, community gardens have remained open noted Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, at the meeting. The motion passed unanimously.

(Board of Health procedure motion put forward by Councillor Keith Egli requesting that community gardens be allowed to proceed for the season. From Councillor Kavanagh’s twitter feed.)

When Kim Bonin, Manager at Jo-Jo’s Community Garden, heard the news, she said “they listened!” Those who rent their plots at the Stittsville garden, not only grow vegetables and fruit for themselves, but also donate the fresh produce to the Stittsville Food Bank.

The Ottawa Board of Health have heard the public outcry, let’s just see if the province reacts in the same manner and opens our community gardens.


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