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Community Gardens

Community Gardens are shared spaces where people gather to grow fruit, vegetables, and/or flowers collectively. Community gardens can help promote food security for participants by increasing physical and economic access to adequate amounts of healthy food.

There are plenty of benefits to having Community Gardens for everyone.

The concept of Community Gardens finds support in the Provincial Policy Statement, the City’s Official Plan as well as in the Recreation and Parks Master Plan.

Prior to the City’s first policy, a Community Garden was established in a city park and in raised planters along the City’s waterfront.

The City of Owen Sound adopted its first Community Gardens policy in 2011. The City began a review of the Community Gardens policy in 2022, which was completed in 2023 with the adoption of a new Community Gardens Policy on May 8th, 2023. 

Since 2011, a Community Garden has been developed by CMHA on lands within St. George’s Park. There is an existing agreement that provides for the operation and relationship between CMHA and the City.

In July of 2021, while considering a request to establish a new community garden in Stobbe Park, Council requested that the policy be reviewed. Since September 2022, City Staff have: 

The final draft of the Community Gardens Policy together with a draft Licence Agreement and supporting documents was approved by the Community Services Committee on April 19, 2023 (8.a.1 Report CS-23-043 from the Junior Planer Re: Community Gardens Policy Public Engagement Follow Up).

 

Policy FPR001 Community Gardens received Council Approval on Monday May 8th, 2023. 

 

The Staff Report, schedules, and draft Community Gardens Policy from the April 19th, Community Services Committee meeting are provided below:

Community Gardens Policy Report-2023 - CS-23-043 

Schedule 'A' Community Gardens Policy, 2023, Illustrated Version.pdf

Schedule 'B' Policy FPR001 Community Gardens

Schedule 'C' Draft Licence Agreement.pdf

Schedule 'D' Application Form and Example Site Plans.pdf

Schedule 'E' Community Gardens Policy 2011.pdf

Schedule 'F' Community Services Committee Policy Feedback.pdf

Schedule 'G' Public Engagement Feedback.pdf

Schedule 'H' County of Grey Comments.pdf

Schedule 'I' CIP Landscaping and Property Improvement Guidelines.pdf

Schedule 'J' Guiding Policy.pdf

Community Gardens - Updated Draft Policy and Draft Agreement (presentation).pdf

 

For more information on the Community Gardens Policy please contact Jocelyn Wainwright, Junior Planner at jwainwright@owensound.ca or at (519) 376-4440 ext. 1250.

The Community Gardens Policy provides a list of City owned lands suitable for community gardens, pending the approval of a formal request and license agreement:

A map illustrating these locations are included in Appendix 'B' of Policy FPR001 Community Gardens.

As per the Community Gardens Policy, the City is required to create a public register of all community gardens in order to provide a central reference point for members of the community to encourage participation in community garden projects.

Since 2011, community gardens have been established successfully at:

  • St. George's Park - 510 10th Street East.  The Fresh Roots Food Forest located in this park is run by the Canadian Mental Health Association Grey Bruce. Please visit their website for more information. 
  • Ed Taylor Park - 1120 12th Avenue East. The Ed Taylor Community Garden will be located in this park and run by The Sustainability Project. More information on this Community Garden is to come.
  • Along the harbourfront

In early 2020, a request came forward to establish a community garden at Stobbe Park. More information about this request can be found below.

On January 6, 2020, the Stobbe Park Community Garden Collective contacted the City with a request that a community garden be established at Stobbe Park, located at 654 5th Avenue 'A' West.  This park is one of the approved community garden sites as per the policy.

There is an 8-step process for the transition of use for a park property from an existing passive park to a community garden as per the City's Recreation, Parks & Facilities Master Plan.  At its meeting on November 18, 2020, the City's Community Services Committee and, subsequently, City Council approved a 4-step process to facilitate community garden requests that align with approved locations and clauses of the Community Gardens Policy.  The revised process still includes a public process to obtain input only where the location is not an approved Community Garden site as per the Community Gardens Policy.

For the purpose of the Stobbe Park request, public consultation will be conducted because both the proponent and neighbours were advised there would be an opportunity for public input ahead of the 2021 gardening season.  This consultation will be conducted in January - February 2021, with all public input being shared through a staff report to the Community Services Committee in March 2021.

Pending the outcome of the neighbourhood consultation and the provision of an approved site plan, a community garden site could be prepped by Parks & Open Space staff as per the Community Gardens Policy.

At the Community Services Committee meeting in March 2021, Committee directed staff to bring forward a draft agreement at a future meeting. A staff report will be presented to Committee at its meeting on July 7, 2021 with a draft community garden license agreement for Committee's consideration.

At the City Council meeting on July 19, 2021, Council approved the following recommendation:

“THAT in consideration of the Community Services Committee minutes dated July 7, 2021 respecting Item 8.a.1 being the establishment of a community garden at Stobbe Park, City Council:

  1. Does not approve the recommendation in Item 8.a.1.;
  2. Directs staff to undertake a full review of the Community Gardens Policy, save and except Stobbe Park which would be removed as a permitted community garden location; and
  3. Directs staff to include public input in the Community Gardens Policy review.”

Staff Reports

Recreation, Parks & Facilities Master Plan

Recreation, Parks & Facilities Master Plan

Video Presentation & Public Input/Survey

The video presentation can be viewed via the City's YouTube channel:

The Community Services Committee and City Council are seeking the public's input on the proposed community garden site at Stobbe Park.

City staff mailed background information and a hard copy of the survey to all residents within 150 metres of the park.

The survey was live from Wednesday, January 27, 2021 until Friday, February 12, 2021 at 4:30 PM. Thank you to those who took the time to complete the survey.

All survey responses will remain confidential and will be analyzed and reported as aggregated data.

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