The Westport Lions are planning to create a community garden where people can grow food for themselves and the Westport Food Bank.
Westport Lions Roar
By Lion Bob Reddick
They say great minds think alike. The Westport Blooms and the Westport Lions both have a vision of creating a community garden. A combination of a vegetable and flower garden to beautify empty spaces within the town where people can gather to enjoy the butterflies and each others company, and a vegetable garden where citizens can grow fresh, organic produce for themselves and the Westport Food Bank.
Community gardens have many benefits that go far beyond just growing food. Some of the main benefits are:
- Provide healthy, fresh, cheap, organically grown vegetables for people that may not be able to buy them
- Increase outdoor physical activity for people of all ages
- Create a space for youth to learn about gardening and the food they eat
- Encourage people to eat a healthy diet
- Provide a space to share knowledge and skills amongst people
- Strengthen community connections, reduce isolation and provide a gathering space for social interactions
- Beautify unused space and reduce crime by engaging more people to value public space
- Provide people with something to do and take pride in.
The Westport Lions vision for a community garden is that members of the community will be assigned a plot of land to grow food for themselves and the Westport Food Bank.
The Westport Lions Club and their sponsors will cover the costs of building beds and preparing the soil. Gardeners of all ages will be responsible for maintaining their plot to a set standard. Rules for maintenance will be established, such as, all gardens must be organic. Gardeners may choose and buy what they want to grow, with the exception of marijuana and are responsible for planting, weeding, fertilizing and watering their plot. We hope that some gardeners choose to donate some of their produce to the Westport Food Bank.
Members of the Westport Lions Club and volunteers will maintain a couple of beds for people to help themselves to the vegetables.
The location of the community garden is to be determined. The garden needs to be easily accessible to all people including young people and seniors. Good soil, southern exposure, room to expand and a water source would be beneficial.
The bulk of the costs will be for the initial setup. The Westport Lions Club plan to keep these costs to a minimum by seeking donations for all building materials and gardening equipment. Lions and volunteers will do all the labour to build the beds.
The Westport Lions would welcome any individuals, organizations or businesses that want to sponsor the garden or a bed(s). Please call Lion Marty Hawkins at 613-273-2373 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to be a sponsor.
If you are interested in gardening a four by eight foot plot please inform Jeannette Harper by calling 613- 273-5791, or emailing her at email@example.com. It would be helpful to know the number of people that are interested in participating in this project.
There will be further information once the club obtains suitable land.