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Community Garden to provide educational component

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A community garden in Saugeen Shores is one step closer as approximately 25 people turned out for an initial meeting on Wednesday (Jan 27) at G. C. Huston Public School in Southampton.

Sunny Cushnie presents a diagram of the potential community garden

Sunny Cushnie, President of Great Lakes Dome Company that builds dome homes, presented a prototype drawing of the garden that will be located between G. C. Huston Public School and the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre.  "We have a lot of support for the garden from teachers, community businesses, the Museum and the students.

"We are very excited about this project," says teacher Judy Stoner.  "We have applied to have our school designated an eco-school that will include an outdoor classroom and this will all fit together perfectly.  We have received more funding for our 'butterfly garden' again this year and have applied for a 'Speak-up grant' available through the Ministry of Education.  This provides funding for special projects that the students in grades 7 and 8 determine.  For instance, the students want to see real basketball nets instead of just hoops, soccer nets that we don't have and to add top soil and trees to the grounds.  Working with a community garden and learning about plant life is just another part of the overall plan for teaching the students about responsibility for the environment."

Lori Kewaquom explains Saugeen First Nation Community Gardens

Lori Kewaquom, Cultural Development Co-ordinator of Saugeen First Nation, explained that Saugeen had started three community gardens in 2009.  "One was central in the village, the other on French Bay Rd. and the other at Scotch Settlement.  Each was different because of differences in soils and light.  Tina Roote maintained the primary central garden, designing and laying it out."

Saugeen Shores Councilor, Victoria Serda

As a member of the Accessibility Committee, Victoria said that she was hopeful that some of the planting beds would be raised to accommodate wheelchair accessibility.

"A community garden is about more than simply planting," said Serda.  "It is about community involvement, it is a social involvement, it is about generations coming together and it's about education."

"We have so much experience and so many skills in the community," added Serda.  "If that knowledge is shared, it will support the school and students and let those who don't have access to land, to be able to have a garden.  In addition, it could be a pilot project that could lead to the development of more community gardens."

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010