By Justin Seward
Redcliff’s FCSS (Family and Community Support Services) and Horticultural Society will be launching an Urban Garden initiative this spring.
An Urban Garden is a vegetable garden grown in an urban environment and is meant for public consumption—which is also known as public produce.
In Redcliff’s case, an Urban Garden is a vegetable garden that will be grown in unused spaces that are currently housed flowers.
“In March we will be asking anyone interested in joining the Horticultural Society, or any community members with ideas or an interest in the project to meet. From there we will decide where we will plant vegetables, which vegetables we will plant, create signage etc. The plan is to start small in the first year,” said Carla Spampinato, the Town of Redcliff’s FCSS coordinator.
Redcliff’s climate and being an area known for greenhouses factored into proceeding with the initiative.
“Redcliff is the Greenhouse Capital of the Prairies and situated in the sunniest region of Canada—it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of our climate,” she said.
Costs will be very minimal and it will be FCSS and the Horticultural Society’s responsibility for fundraising efforts and looking for grant opportunities.
Top five benefits of an Urban Garden include tapping into the growing local food trends, help boost the local economy, create edible landscapes, promoting healthy communities and “green” your city.
Urban Gardens teach new skills with experiences gardeners passing on their gardening knowledge to the younger generation, promotes healthy lifestyle, builds community and improves mental health by reducing levels of anxiety, stress and depression in nature-based activities.
Spampinato said volunteer opportunities are both small and large and there is no commitment?—even if someone doesn’t have a green thumb—(people) are still encouraged to help make decisions, plant, tend to and harvest the gardens.
“If you don’t like to garden but have another skill to offer, or you simply would like the opportunity to get out of the house and be a part of your community we encourage that too,” she said.
There will be opportunities for schools and community members to learn about the Redcliff Urban Gardens.
More information can be obtained by calling (403) 548-3232 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.