Lees Avenue Community Garden

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Thursday, June 21, 2012 nearly 75 volunteers from Fiskars, Canadian Tire, Just Food, Sandy Hill Community Centre and the Lees Avenue community braved the unseasonably warm Ottawa weather to install a new garden in the Lees Avenue Community.

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The garden installation kicked off at 8:00 a.m. with a first dig by Fiskars Americas President Paul Tonnesen; Canadian Tire Corp. Vice President, Seasonal and Gardening, Mike Magennis; Just Food Coordinator Terri O’Neill; garden coordinator Ian Detta; and garden designer, author and TV host Joe Lamp’l. As temperatures rose above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and shade cast by a nearby apartment building shrunk, volunteers worked tirelessly to construct 12 raised beds, move 40 cubic yards of both soil and mulch and plant over 500 plants.

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All of the rentable plots in the new Lees Avenue Community Garden were spoken for prior to the garden installation with plans to donate a portion of the strawberries, squash, tomatoes, peppers and herbs grown in the garden to local food banks. Public demand for garden spaces is strong in Ottawa, and the garden coordinators already have sights set on expansion.

Community members and garden coordinators enjoyed learning a new way to construct sturdy raised beds and look forward to applying the same techniques to future gardens. Volunteers also signed their names to the lumber used in the raised beds to leave their mark on the garden.

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In addition to the food-yielding raised beds, beautiful perennial beds filled with asters, coneflowers and dusty miller were planted to outline the garden in each corner, and benches were installed throughout the garden to provide a comfortable place enjoy the beautiful space.

A hard-earned ice cream break was taken in the afternoon to give volunteers the energy they needed to complete the final planting and mulching before the 4:00 pm ribbon cutting ceremony.

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After a long, tiring day in the sun, the ribbon cutting ceremony was well attended by proud volunteers as well as community members who had witnessed the transformation from the nearby apartment buildings. Local elected officials also attending the ribbon cutting ceremony to show their support including Member of Federal Parliament Paul Dewar, Member of Provincial Parliament Yasir Naqvi, Mayor Jim Watson and City Councillor David Chernushenko. All speakers commended the project for instilling a sense of community pride and working bringing something fundamental and lasting to city land.

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MEDIA FROM THE MAIN EVENT

Metro News
Ottawa ON, Thursday June 21, 2012
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CTV Morning Live
Ottawa, ON
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Time lapse of event
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PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT

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