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Two Rivers Neighbourhood Group grows together (4 photos)

Our Rooted neighbourhood series looks at volunteers and residents coming together to build a community garden in the Ward

A new community garden will soon be in full bloom.

Members and volunteers from the Two Rivers Neighbourhood Group recently came together with shovels in hand to transform two plots of land into spaces that it hopes will foster connections between residents and the earth.

A plot on the corner of Huron and Manitoba Streets, brought volunteers young and old to help build raised beds.

“Something like this really brings everyone together. It’s amazing to watch these people come out and build these boxes for their community,” said Lisa Conroy, coordinator with the Two Rivers Community Gardens.

“I began as Garden Coordinator last March and at that time no one had any record of soil contamination tests being done so we had the testing done,” Conroy said.

The tests revealed slightly higher than normal levels in metals such as zinc and lead.

“It wasn’t a crazy concern but based on governmental limits, it’s still within the residential limits allowed but not within agricultural limits. Because this is a community garden, you want to make sure you cover all liabilities and last year, we didn’t have enough funds to make raised beds,” Conroy said.

This is the second community garden run by the group. The first, located at Lyons Park, has proved to be a huge success giving community members the opportunity to grow their own food and learn from each other.  

With the help of a TD Friends Grant of $6,000, the second garden soon became a reality and this year, building began.

About fourteen raised beds were built - each 12 x 14 in diameter with lining landscape barrier in the bottom, about 18 inches deep and filled with triple mix so there is no possibility of roots being contaminated in the ground soil, according to Conroy.

“People can grow whatever they like. The focus is on fruits, veggies and herbs,” Conroy says.

“People can rent a personal plot for $30 a year but if they help mow, it’s less.”

One plot is, however, used solely to grow food for the neighbourhood emergency food cupboard.

Two Rivers Neighbourhood Group provides services, events and programs to community members living in the Two Rivers Neighbourhood, an area bounded by Victoria Road, Elizabeth Street and the Eramosa and Speed Rivers.