Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Grey Avenue Gardens: Planning a place for Recreation and Rest

This time of year, we reflect on our mistakes or mishaps of last season, anxiously wait as the seed catalogues arrive by mail, and plan out the spring planting of our garden patch. Really, winter is the perfect time to plan for the season ahead.

Here at the Yara Community Gardens, we've been busy planning the 2011 gardening year. We've been talking to neighbours, gardeners and community partners and have come up with an exciting idea to start this spring. Let me tell you about it:

Over at our newest community gardens, the 1000 block of Grey Ave, we have a beautiful greenspace loaded with trees, grass and shrubs. Because of the trees (and the shade they produce), we'll never till the land for garden space. Furthermore, the shade is a welcome retreat on those hot Saskatchewan summer days. Coupled with our forty new garden plots, this greenspace will be designed particularly for rest and recreation. This will be achieved by installing a beautiful patio and seating area and a interactive children's play area.

For tired gardeners and visiting guests, we will create an accessible and attractive space to relax. We will install a beautiful entrance way (including pathways, flower beds and crafted sign), build a covered patio space and have ample chairs, picnic tables and benches for all. This space will make the gardens more accessible, more organized and more conducive to socializing and meeting together. Plus, this space will be used by volunteers and school groups.

For our youngest gardeners and neighbours, we will create an interactive space to play and imagine. Working with volunteers, we will install a playground area, complete with swings, a slide and a place to climb. And don't worry Mom and Dad - the playspace will be within sight of your garden and there will be lots of nearby benches for you to sit and watch your kids play. This space will have educational features, focus on nature and seek to provide space for even the youngest to get active, imagine and learn. By creating a kid-centered recreation space within our gardens, we seek to teach our children that a healthy lifestyle is holistic, engaging our physical, nutritional and mental health.

As we discuss and plan these new developments on Grey Avenue, we would love to hear your ideas and comments. Is there anything that you would like to see in the play area or around the garden site? Let us know!

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