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:
- A partnership with Sacred Heart High School to care for the Kemp Woodland.
- A partnership with Carleton University, the Friends of the Carp River, and the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority on a study of the Carp River.