Community Gardening


On Thursdays during the summer, I have been working all day at Sunnydale Community Centre. There are a number of things I regularly do here at this vibrant and joyful place.

Around 11:30am on Thursdays, Anton usually arrives with a big work van full of food that we have gotten donated to us from the Food Bank or Loblaws. The food is set on 2 tables out front of the Centre, and within minutes the area surrounding the Community Centre turns into a hopping marketplace. Residents from the community come to collect food for themselves and/or their family, never lacking in lots of chit chat and community-building.

Something else I was introduced to a few weeks ago was the Community Garden that is on the outskirts of the Community Centre property. Eight cultures are represented in this ten-plot garden. Families from Vietnam, Canada, Bangladesh, Lao, Russia, Ukraine, United States and Iraq all have plots to grow food that they enjoy and that is important to them. Residents share this food with one another, and also tend to each other’s plots from time to time. It is so fascinating! I love seeing the variety of cultural and ethnic foods growing locally and organically. I love how proud people are to share their culture in the form of food they can grow.

Learning about and seeing the community garden in bloom has made me curious to research and share information about the process of growing and maintaining a community garden. Here is some information I’ve found:

What is a community garden?

  • People come together to grow vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers
  • Run by churches, community agencies, clubs, neighbourhood associations

What are the benefits of a community garden?

  • Provides recreational gardening and activity for people
  • Provides fresh fruits and vegetables to individuals and families, some of whom may not regularly have access to such food
  • Reduces green house gases since the food is grown locally and not transported
  • Individuals of all cultures and ages can garden in a community garden; this reduces age and cultural barriers and allows people to learn from and share with each other
  • Educates people on how to grow and harvest foods that they enjoy to eat
  • Creates community among people with a common goal in mind

To learn more about community gardens, visit:

  • Community Garden Council of Waterloo Region

I have also been researching about different types of community gardens, and how to make a community garden more accessible to those with more restricted mobility. Stay tuned for a post devoted to barrier-free community gardening.

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One Response to “Community Gardening”

  1. Matching Fund Project: the Sunnydale community garden | Waterloo Neighbourhood Matching Fund Says:

    […] began a community garden back in 2000, and it’s been a huge success. As a multicultural community the garden is a great […]

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