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Community gardens will flourish under changes designed to empower residents to get growing

November 1, 2017

The City of Kitchener is turning over a new leaf on its community garden program with changes designed to help residents take the lead in starting new gardens, or maintain and upkeep existing gardens in their neighbourhoods.

City council recommended the approval of several changes to the city's existing program in response to feedback received during the Love My Hood consultation. Designed to make it easier for residents to become involved in community gardening, the changes include providing insurance coverage for individual gardeners, increased funding for new gardens and providing funding to enhance existing gardens. An easy-steps guide and single staff contact will round out new supports to get more people engaged in community gardening.

"We heard residents say the demand for community gardens is growing," says Josh Joseph, supervisor, neighbourhood development office, City of Kitchener.  "There are 35 community gardens in Kitchener, including 15 on city-owned land, plus gardens on private property and we hope to increase this number each year."

Kitchener is one of the first cities to rethink its approach to community gardens, particularly in the area of program insurance. Providing insurance coverage for individual gardeners allows citizens to take on a larger role in maintenance and upkeep, without assuming personal risk. This inexpensive but significant change allows residents to take the lead in much-loved spaces in a much more meaningful way.

"Increased funding and improved processes are some of the ways we plan to support residents who want to build a community garden" says Yvonne Westerveld Cardoso, landscape architect, City of Kitchener.  Our goal is to ensure residents have the tools and resources they need to make their project a success."

Existing gardens may be eligible for funding through the Neighbourhood Matching Grant for enhancements that benefit the entire neighbourhood, such as adding more plots, decorative features or seating areas.

Residents interested in starting a community garden or learning more about the program can connect with staff in the neighbourhood development office (519-741-2200 ext. 4663). For more information please visit www.lovemyhood.ca

For more information:

City of Kitchener

Box 1118, 200 King St W
Kitchener, Ontario
Canada, N2G 4G7

Lyme Disease Resource Kit

The Lyme Disease Stakeholder Resource Group has developed a Lyme disease resource tool kit to help you and your staff stay safe from ticks this summer. 

Download your resource kit by clicking the following links: 8.5" x 11" poster11" x 17" posterfact sheetstory and PowerPoint presentation.

News Release

Ontario Making Communities and Attractions More Bike-Friendly

Province Investing in Bike Parking at Destinations Across Ontario

September 25, 2017 9:00 A.M.

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Ontario is making it easier for people to ride their bikes to their favourite local tourism and cultural attractions with new funding for bike parking and storage. This investment is part of Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan and is funded by proceeds from the province's cap on pollution and carbon market.

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Eleanor McMahon was at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto today to launch the new program, which will help people stay active, choose clean transportation and discover Ontario's tourism and cultural attractions.

The funding will support bike parking options like rings and racks, as well as indoor lockers and bike storage rooms.

Making neighbourhoods more cycle-friendly helps reduce greenhouse gas pollution created by cars. It also supports the goals of Tour by Bike, the province's first cycling tourism plan.

Promoting cycling and active transportation is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is investing $1 million this year from its carbon market to fund this project. All Ontario’s tourism and culture agencies and attractions will be eligible to apply.
  • This investment is a commitment under Ontario’s five-year Climate Change Action Plan which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, 37 per cent by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050.
  • In 2015, there were 1.7 million cycling visits in Ontario. While visiting Ontario, cyclists spent $497 million.
  • About 1.5 million people in Ontario ride their bikes at least once a week during the spring, summer and fall, and many cycle year-round.
  • In 2013, the government released #CycleON: Ontario’s Cycling Strategy, a 20-year vision to encourage the growth of cycling and improve safety.
  • In addition to today’s announcement, Ontario recently announced a $2.5-million investment to construct new, secure bike storage lockers at GO Transit stations and car pool lots across southern Ontario.


Download your copy of the new issue of STIHL PROLINE today -  Fall 2017 STIHL PROLINE.

Check out the Vertical Stormwater Management issue of the Living Architecture Monitor magazine.

Ontario Parks Association Publications:

OPA has been producing The Green Sward since 1969. Want to re-read your favourite Green Sward articles? Or look at pictures from back in the day? Email OPA and we will send you a PDF!

The summer 2017 Green Sward is now online in the Members Only section. 

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