Brock Township has identified five parcels of municipal land in Beaverton and Sunderland as potential locations for a community garden.
Last month, embers of council directed staff to prepare a report highlighting some suitable locations for the possible expansion of a program run by The Nourish and Develop Foundation (TNDF), which maintains a community garden next to McCaskill’s Mills Public School in Cannington.
Members passed a motion at Monday’s (April 8) meeting of the public works and facilities committee directing staff to send the list of potential sites to TNDF for review.
“Nothing is going to happen without public consultation,” Ward 3 Councillor Walter Schummer said.
“I believe strongly in community gardens – they are the future,” added Ward 4 Councillor Cria Pettingill.
The staff report suggests a handful of possible locations, including:
Fairqate Subdivision – Albert Street South, Sunderland
This parkland was dedicated as part of the approval of the adjacent subdivision with the intention that it would be developed as an active park facility. As a result of changes to the fencing requirements, the municipality retains funds in a reserve for its development. The park is within walking distance of the elementary school which could provide off— street parking during off-hours. There could be an issue with on-street parking but that could be controlled with no parking signage and enforcement. The only limitation is that the park is only 0.8 acres in size and, with the impending “active” park development, it would result in a small community garden.
Maple Glen Apartments – Church Street, Sunderland
There is a potential opportunity to use a portion of the lawn on the south side of the building for a community garden. Based on air photo interpretation it would appear to support a garden of comparable size to Cannington. Off-hours parking could be available at the Sunderland Medical Centre which is within easy walking distance. The use of this property would require the approval of the Brock Non-Profit Housing Corporation.
The Fairgrounds is a heavily used facility which supports many active recreational activities (ball, tennis, walking trail, playground equipment, skatepark, etc.) in addition to numerous events throughout the growing season. Adequate off-street parking is available. It may be possible to use a portion of the fairgrounds for a garden but it may not be as large as Cannington. Further consideration of these lands would require discussions with many community groups to ensure that its location does not impede regularly scheduled special events.
King Street Park, Beaverton
There may be an opportunity to consider the use of the west side of this park. It is in close proximity to the elementary school which could provide off-hours parking. The area of the west side of the park is approximately 0.75 acres. However, serious consideration of this park would have to be deferred pending completion of the elementary school redevelopment as there would be no opportunity for parking while under construction which is expected in the latter part of 2019.
Like Sunderland, this facility supports many recreational activities as well as special events throughout the growing season. Adequate off-street parking is available. It may be possible to use a portion of the fairgrounds for a garden but it may not be as large as Cannington. Further consideration of these lands would require discussions with many community groups to ensure that its location does not impede regularly scheduled special events.