By MorinvilleNews.com Staff
Morinville – The Morinville Centennial Community Gardens officially opened Sunday afternoon with a strawberry tea. Mayor Lloyd Bertschi, Councillor David Pattison and Chief Administrative Officer Edie Doepker joined 2011 Municipal Sustainability Award winner and community gardens founder Valerie Loseth and other organizers in unveiling the new sign that will mark the community garden.
For Loseth, the idea to start a community garden where residents could have a place to grow their own crops grew from seeds planted during a trip. “It was during a trip to Vancouver last year that I was inspired by community gardens,” Loseth told those who gathered for the unveiling. “I wanted to create a place that would promote urban and organic food production as well as provide a forum to connect neighbours to share the communicative knowledge of plants and food.”
Loseth explained her vision was for those people to collaboratively create accessible places for people to grow food. But the avid gardener said none of it would have been possible without the support of local businesses and individuals.
The Morinville United Church donated the land behind their church. Quinn’s Plumbing and Heating supplied and installed two large water storage units, allowing gardeners to tend their crops without need of using billable water. Hunter’s Print and Copy donated the sign that was unveiled Sunday and now marks the garden for passers-by. Home Hardware donated a bench and many of the plants for the perennial garden attached to the community gardens. Additionally, the Middleton Family made a substantial financial donation towards the initiative and the Town of Morinville awarded the gardens a community grant earlier this year.
The garden’s 10 community gardening plots are predominantly used by local families; however, the 1st Morinville Beavers are tending a plot to grow crops for the food bank, and three Grade 1 classes from Notre Dame Elementary School are looking after one plot for educational purposes.