The Pembroke Carefor Community Garden has set up five raised accessible garden beds behind the Carefor Mackay Street Centre for the enjoyment of the residents. These garden beds are in addition to the 20 beds located at the main community garden below the hill at the centre.
“Accessibility was one of the key goals of the community garden committee and one of the criteria in the grant application for funds received by the County of Renfrew and the Province of Ontario,” said Brian Abdallah, Pembroke councilor and Pembroke Carefor Community Garden co-chairman. “The committee wishes to acknowledge and thank them for the grant we received last year that made the building of these accessible raised garden beds and the other 20 beds possible.”
Sister Collette Larmand, who is the committee liaison member for Carefor, said that the garden beds are a welcome addition to the recreation program offerings at the facility, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as it is an outdoor activity that can be easily socially distanced.
“Carefor residents are thoroughly enjoying the raised garden beds and find spending time in the garden relaxing and fulfilling,” Larmand said.
Ron Gervais, Carefor Community Garden co-chairman and Pembroke deputy mayor said it was great to see the project flourishing through the partnerships developed between the City of Pembroke, Carefor, the community garden committee and all of the members.
“We have numerous non-profit groups as members, some who use the garden beds as a programming element and others who use them for community building. We have noticed the true enjoyment of the gardeners when they tend to their garden beds,” Gervais said.
According to Abdallah some community members have asked about the possibility of a second community garden in the city. To that he replied the committee members all agree that the present community garden needs to be on a solid footing for a few years before expanding the program is considered.
“In addition, any plan for another community garden of this scale will depend on funding opportunities, community volunteers and partnerships like the ones we’ve developed with Carefor. Anything is possible when dedicated and focused community members join together to achieve a common goal, Abdallah added”
Phase 1 of the Pollinator Garden has been planted and is being led by garden member Will Kennelly aka “The Butterfly Man.” The Pembroke Carefor Community Garden will postpone its official grand opening and commencing of educational workshops until next year due to the current the COVID-19 restrictions.
If anyone would like more information or to volunteer at the community garden please contact Councillor Brian Abdallah at 613-735-6821 Ext. 1392 or Deputy Mayor Ron Gervais at Ext. 1390.