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Gardens growing up at Priory Baptist Church

Project focuses on creating more raised beds for seniors to grow plants, creating accessible pathways

Raised gardens and increased accessibility for seniors are on their way to Priory Baptist Church.

The church's garden has been a highlight of its outdoor space since the late '90s, with a group of seniors raising a couple garden beds in 2015 to allow for space to grow their own plants. Now that effort will grow.

“We actually had a couple of seniors from Wellington Terrace come,” said Sue Woodward, co-ordinator of the community garden. “They raised beds and really enjoyed being able to grow things in that raised bed.”

Recently announced federal funding will allow for more garden beds to be built in addition to accessible walkways for people with mobility issues.

Woodward said the church learned about the New Horizons for Seniors Program through MP Lloyd Longfield, and applied for a $25,000 grant aimed toward funding community-based projects.

“We wanted to do to make it easier for seniors to come to garden and also just to visit… To watch what people are doing and remember what it was like when they were younger in their own garden,” Woodward said. “But I mean, we couldn't afford that as the church budget is pretty small.”

In addition to increasing accessibility through new pathways and creating more garden space, the church is fixing the fencing surrounding the area. Woodward said she hopes these overall improvements will create a sense of community for seniors post-pandemic.

“Seniors like to come and watch, and we want to make it a little bit of a destination for them,” Woodward said. “Even if they're not able to actually go in themselves, just so they can feel a part of the community and they can get outside.”