Community Papers

Dawn to Dawn hosts Community Garden event

Dawn to Dawn Action on Homelessness will host a Community Garden Visioning Event on Tuesday, April 1 from 6 until 8 p.m. at the Courtenay Library.

This event marks the third anniversary of Dawn to Dawn's Community Garden Pilot Project. The Garden is located in the heart of Courtenay, at Sixth and Harmston, surrounded by many community resources, all within walking distance.

"April 1 marks the second anniversary of the Community Garden,” notes garden co-ordinator Dianne MacLean. “I still remember my first day on the project two years ago, showing up and seeing all the Home Depot staff and trucks dropping off materials and getting the beds underway.

"I wondered if it was an April Fools joke, it was too good to be true. We’ve had positive feedback on the garden ever since and the partnerships have literally grown out of the garden!”

One of the unique features of the Dawn to Dawn Community Garden is the role that homeless and marginalized people are encouraged to play in growing food, community and life skills. The purpose of the garden is to supply food for those in need and bring people together to work towards a common goal.

Over the past two years the garden has been run solely by volunteers for the benefit of the whole community. Partnerships have allowed the garden to operate with a very low budget and next to no purchases including seeds, soil and tools.

The garden has even become a source for other gardeners through its own seed saving techniques, a critical stage in the sustainability of any garden.

Partners include the City of Courtenay, LUSH Valley Food Action Society, CV Aboriginal Head Start Program, Food not Bombs, Council of Canadians, the Friendship Project, Pidcock Shelter, Home Depot, Anderton Gardens, Horticultural Society, Comox United Church, St. George's United Church, Findley Creek Farm, Kal Tire, Vancouver Island Enterprises, Mystic Meadows, Seed Savers, Zocalo Café, Alano Club, Hot Chocolates, Runges, Roots, the Kiwanis Club and many community members.

Dawn to Dawn is looking forward to engaging more community groups and community involvement.

This year, private allotments may be offered for a small deposit fee. A number of plots will continue to be for homeless and marginalized people,  as well as other community groups, and all private lots will be encouraged to donate a portion of their produce for those in need.

The City of Courtenay has granted an extension on the Dawn to Dawn lease, for five years until 2018. The land was selected as the future home of the Comox Valley RCMP’s new detachment but it’s not clear when — or if — that plan will go ahead. In the interim, the vacant lot is being put to productive public use.

For more information, check the Dawn to Dawn : Community Garden Facebook page, e-mail macleandianne@yahoo.ca or phone 250-334-9574.

— Dawn to Dawn Action on Homelessness

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