Orillia Community Gardens Spring 2022 – E-Newsletter

OCG Spring 2022 Newsletter


  1. Lakehead Farm Petition – Recreation, Research and Education Farm (RREF) 
    1. Sign the petition and lets create a community farm for Orillia!
  2. Seeds 101 Webinar at Orillia Public Library Wednesday May 11th, 630-730pm
    1. Attend this Free event!
  3. Stop Sprawl and Green Orillia – join the newsletter!
    1. For a more affordable and sustainable community join the Greenest newsletter growing!
  4. Mapping Community Gardens & Community Food Growing Initiatives
    1. Complete the survey to have your grow-op listed!
  5. New Instagram Account @OrilliaCommunityGardens 
    1. Follow our new account!
  6. High Street Gardeners
    1. Get dirty with the High Street Gardeners!
  7. City of Orillia Community Gardens program
    1. Sign up for a plot or drop in program!
  8. Lakehead Community Garden Work Day – Saturday May 14th, 9 am to 11 am. 
    1. Meet fallow gardeners and get dirty in this growing community garden!
  9. St. Davids Community Garden
    1. Get dirty!
  10. St. Paul’s Community Garden
    1. Get dirty!
  11. St. James Eco-Veggie Garden – Sunday May 15th,  2-3pm “Garden Basics Info Session”
    1. See poster attached and come learn about gardening!
  12. Regent Park United – “Sugarthyme Hill Community Garden” 
    1. Contact Camp Couch and Get dirty!
  13. Volunteer for OCG
    1. Get in touch to learn how to support our mission to bring people together to grow good gardens and a healthy community. 


  1. Lakehead Farm Petition – Recreation, Research and Education Farm (RREF)

Students at Lakehead University through the Lakehead University Students Union have unanimously supported a proposal by Lakehead (FC) Farm Club  to petition the Lakehead University Board of Governors to permanently protect 20 acres of campus farmland for the creation of a socially just and sustainable farm they call the RREF (Recreation, Research and Education Farm). All community members are invited to join with students in support of this interdisciplinary project that has the potential to transform the local food landscape within Orillia and in our region. Please sign and share with your networks and if you are willing, consider writing a letter or volunteering to join us in other collective actions to bring this vision to fruition! 

See more about the proposal in recent news articles on the subject – Student calls on Lakehead to create ’20-acre classroom’ on school land and ‘While we have the chance’: A call to farming at Lakehead University’s Orillia campus


  1. Seeds 101 Webinar at Orillia Public Library Wednesday May 11th, 630-730pm

We are hosting a free webinar titled Seeds 101 in support of the Orillia Seed Library at the Orillia Public Library. Registration is necessary to receive the zoom invite on the day of the event. Register here. All are welcome to attend this introductory workshop where we will discuss seeds in all their glory and what you need to know to grow them well this spring! Don’t forget that you can borrow seeds for free at the Orillia Seed Library and online through this handy Seed Request form . Don’t forget to save some seed to return as well! 


  1. Stop Sprawl and Green Orillia – join the newsletter

For a more affordable and sustainable community join the Greenest newsletter growing! Green Orillia is a community organization that promotes advocacy, news, tips and initiatives for sustainability in Orillia & area. This regular newsletter will keep folks up to date on many initiatives including community garden and food opportunities. Stop Sprawl Orillia is a coalition initiated by Green Orillia to convince Mayor and Council to freeze the urban boundary to protect wetlands, farmlands and forests from further suburban development in favour of smarter and more affordable urban development that invests in our existing community. Get a lawn sign or be involved by visiting the website www.stopsprawlorillia.ca 


  1. Mapping Community Gardens & Community Food Growing Initiatives

Did you know that there are over ten different community gardens / community food growing initiatives in Orillia? Unlikely, but if you knew that, do you know where they all are and how to get involved? Doubt it, even we don’t know that – which is why we’ve created this survey to document and map our community initiatives. Please complete the survey to have your grow-op listed!


  1. New Instagram Account @OrilliaCommunityGardens 

Follow our new instagram account for access to more frequent postings of gardens and cropportunities in Orillia. Don’t forget to like our facebook page www.facebook.com/orilliacommunitygardens and join the group for discussions – https://www.facebook.com/groups/67069663352/


  1. High Street Gardeners

The High Street Gardeners are back at it for another season and are inviting the community to be involved. Learn more on their website here – High Street Gardeners. This city-supported community garden has a mix of individual allotments and community garden plots and hopefully something for everyone to harvest and participate in. 


  1. City of Orillia Community Gardens program 

The City of Orillia’s Community Gardens program offers individuals the opportunity to sign up for an individual plot (at either Lakehead University or High Street Park) or to participate in a drop in program! 


  1. Lakehead Community Garden Work Day – Saturday May 14th, 9 am to 11 am. Contact Emily, Ewilson@orillia.ca the City of Orillia Community Gardens coordinator for more information and to be kept in the loop for future events in these gardens!


  1. St. David’s Community Garden

The community garden at St. David Anglican-Lutheran Church is coming together for another season of growing. To learn more contact Pastor Lori Pilatzke – pastoratstdavid@gmail.com


  1. St. Paul’s Centre Sharing Garden

The St. Paul’s Centre Sharing Garden is a volunteer-run community garden with a sideyard in-ground plot along with sub-irrigated planter boxes on the corner of Peter and Coldwater roads in downtown Orillia. This highly visual “help-yourself” community garden is run by volunteers and you can learn more at http://www.stpaulscentre.ca/st-pauls-sharing-garden


  1. St. James Eco-Veggie Garden – Sunday May 15th  2-3pm “Garden Basics Info Session”

“St. James’ Anglican Church, Orillia presents HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?  On Sunday May 15, 2022, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. you are invited to attend a free information session with guest speaker Jacob Kearey-Moreland about garden basics. Be sure to bring your questions! Limited seating, Register early! 58 Peter St. South, Orillia. PLEASE RSVP TO OFFICE@STJAMESORILLIA.COM OR 705-325-2742.” Please see and feel free to share the event poster attached!


  1. Regent Park United – “Sugarthyme Hill Community Garden” 

The “Sugarthyme Hill Community Garden” is one of the foremost community gardens in Orillia, a permaculture inspired garden planted in terraces on a sloping thyme-covered hill behind the former Regent Park United Church. Topped with a geodesic dome greenhouse, this garden is one to visit and support. Contact Ross rossmcintyre@campcouchiching.com to learn more. 


  1. Volunteer for OCG

As a small group of volunteers we depend on all your support to keep collecting and circulating critical information and resources to support gardeners in and around Orillia. Please reply to this email touch to learn how to support our mission to bring people together to grow good gardens and a healthy community! 



You are receiving this email because you have consented at some point in the past to receive email updates about community garden related opportunities in and around Orillia. If you would like to subscribe please email orilliacommunitygardens@hotmail.com or to unsubscribe please reply to this email saying “unsubscribe”. Thank you!

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9th Annual Seedy Saturday Orillia – April 13th @ Orillia Farmers Market

Peas join us for the 9th Annual Orillia Seedy Saturday happening on Saturday April 13th from 8-123opm at the Orillia Farmer’s Market! Also note the Orillia Fairgrounds Farmer’s Market is hosting another Seedy Saturday on Saturday March 30th!

Bring your seeds to share in support of our growing Orillia Seed Library!

Volunteers welcome – peas contact orilliacommunitygardens@hotmail.com !


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OCG Season 10! Feb 2018 E-News Leaflet

Greetings fallow Orillia and area growers… Long thyme no seed! Lettuce know how it’s growing! If you’d like us to include an update from your free community food growing initiative in our E-NEWS Leaflet (which grows out to a few hundred local growers) send us a message! Need support for your : school gardens, community gardens, offers of land or labour, resources, events, helpful links etc… ? We can help to spread the word!


Some UPCOMING Community Events & Opportunities this winter/spring include : 

1 . Thurs. Feb 22nd, 7-9pm, 62 Peter St. N (St. Paul’s Centre) , Orillia Community Kitchen Public Meeting

2 . Sat. Feb 24th, 10-12am, Orillia Farmer’s Market – Introduction to Permaculture w/ Krisztina Mosdossy

3 . Mon. Feb 26th, 1-4pm, Lakehead University Orillia – Introduction to Permaculture w/ Krisztina Mosdossy

4 . Thurs. March 8th, 730-9pm, Brewery Bay Orillia – Sunshine Drinks

5 . Sat. March 24th, 8-1pm, Orillia Fairgrounds Farmer’s Market – Seedy Saturday Seed Exchange

6 . Sat. March 24th, 11-3pm, 58 Peter St. N, Orillia (St. James Anglican Church) – “Repair Cafe” 

7 . Sat. April 21st, 730 – 1230pm, Orillia Farmer’s Market – 8th Annual Orillia Seedy Saturday

8. Ongrowing – Orillia Food Council‘s membership is growing – Learn more, bee involved! Email orillia.food.council@gmail.com

9. Wednesdays, 5:30 – 7:30pm, 62 Peter St. N (St. Paul’s Centre) – Orillia Community Kitchen Cooking Weekly Workshops

10. Saturdays, 730 – 1pm, Orillia Farmer’s Markets – Tabling/Outreach – Volunteers  email orilliacommunitygardens@hotmail.com

11. Upcoming – City of Orillia Community Garden Program Opportunities – Community Gardening / Allotment Program

Thanks for reading ! To learn more about OCG & to bee involved peas email us at orilliacommunitygardens@hotmail.com follow us on twitter @OrilliaGrows , facebook page  or contribute to our group .

in SOILidarity,

Intro to Perm

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2017 Growing Season Information Session

Think you know all about what’s happening at community gardens in Orillia? Think again! With more gardens around the city, new classes & programs to get everyone from novices to green thumbs involved, and a mix of allotment gardens and communal gardening experiences, community gardening in Orillia has really grown! Find out more at our information session on March 18th at 1pm.

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Orillia Community Gardens Season 9 – January 2017 Newsletter

Orillia Community Gardens (OCG) – January 2017 Newsletter! 

Happy New Year! The countdown to spring is on, and this one will be OCG’s 9th growing season! We would like to thank all our members, supporters, and volunteers for bee-ing so grape. Your enthusiasm, hard work, and patience as we approach the final stage of Incorporation as a Horticultural Society is very mulch appreciated.1396041_10102117042437062_854870633_n

Organizational Update

OCG’s “Acting Board” is berry excited to announce that they’ve completed the challenging process of developing the “Orillia Community Gardens and Horticultural Society Constitution” which will be made available to new and existing members for review beginning Saturday, January 28th, 9:00 a.m. at the Orillia Public Library Farmers Market and during subsequent public events listed below! 

NEW Community Garden Policy + Co-ordinator for the City of Orillia

The City of Orillia has passed a Community Garden Policy which can be viewed here starting on page 33. In the city’s 2017 budget, $10,000 has been allocated to hire a part-time Community Garden Co-ordinator and to our understanding, another $10 000 to support community garden infrastructure. We hope to know more soon, and details will be made available on our Facebook page.

Upcoming Events – “Market in your Calendula”


Wiigwaas Gitigaan “Birch Garden” Lakehead Winter 20

1. March 18th, Saturday, 1pm,  Orillia Community Gardens 2017 Info Session, @ Orillia Native Women’s Group, 110 Matchedash St. – Are you curious about different gardening opportunities in and around Orillia? Would you like to know more about how you can get growing this season? Join us to hear about all the different options there are for getting your hands in the soil in 2017. Tell the world, bring a friend!

2. April 22nd, Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., 7th Annual Orillia Seedy Saturday @ the Orillia  Farmer’s Market & the Orillia Public Library

3. August 26th, Saturday, the 2nd Annual Orillia Food Festival (Volunteers and Organizers wanted for Festival Working Group – contact us or orillia.food.council@gmail.com )

Stay tuned for more upcoming spring events, or visit our events calendar!  If you have a community food related event lettuce know! 


If you’d like to volunteer – email us w/ subject line “Volunteer” and one of our volunteer coordinators will reply to your request. Specify whether you would like to join either the OCG newsletter and/or OCG Volunteer list. We have a list of volunteer roles and tasks on our website – as well as a lot of other useful information.

Help us “map” the growth in our Community

We are creating an up to date Map/Directory of Community Gardens / Community Food Growing Initiatives (CFGI) in Orillia & Area (surrounding townships, communities). We have created this voluntary survey  linked here  to assist us in gathering the relevant and appropriate data to publicly profile the diverse and various initiatives in our community. If you are organizing or thinking about organizing a growing initiative please contact us or fill out this survey –


Prototype CFGI Map/Directory

https://orilliacommunitygardens.wordpress.com/community-garden-map/ . Did you know there are over 20 unique initiatives in and around Orillia? There may be more – help us map the growth in our community!


We have a Website https://orilliacommunitygardens.wordpress.com/ ! 

We have a Facebook page (with 431 likes!) featuring gardening tips and updates  www.facebook.com/orilliacommunitygardens  

We have a Facebook group (with 491 members!) join for informative community discussion and event invitations – https://www.facebook.com/groups/67069663352/

We also have a twitter account (with 544 followers!) https://twitter.com/orilliagrows

If you would like to unsubscribe from this newsletter peas reply to orilliacommunitygardens@hotmail.com with subject  “Unsubscribe me”

Seed you soon! 
in SOILidarity, 
Orillia Community Gardens 

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OCG Season 8 – Spring Newsletter

Welcome to Orillia Community Gardens “OCG” Season 8 !

Fallow gardeners, it’s Thyme to Start your Seeds! Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and chives oh my ! We have a strawberry jam – packed newsletter full of exciting updates as we sprout into Spring 2016.

Organizational Update

OCG has an “Acting Board” of 6 individuals steering our membership and organization through a challenging process of incorporation as a Horticultural Society, in order for our long term viability, enabling us to better organize and respond effectively to the growing needs and requests for community food gardens in our hungry community. We really appreciate your patience and support as we evolve and determine our capacities for the coming season. We will alert you to our progress on this front and in thyme for you to join us for the first Annual General Meeting, when confirmed! Once established, we will look for new members to round out our board and to populate a number of diverse committees to support our volunteer initiatives around the community.  If you are interested in forming or joining a committee contact us! We are looking for individuals to help with – garden planning , garden tending, outreach, event planning, social media and communications, education and the seed library program, among other things!

Community Garden Policy for the City of Orillia

We are also eagerly anticipating the release of a draft community garden policy through a process initiated over a year ago by community partners including community gardeners, local public health officials, the Orillia Food Council, along with City officials. We will forward updates on this policy development as it continues. Feel free to contact your city councilor to alert them to this issue and grow their support for a well-funded and resourced community garden program. We have posted our draft recommendations here . Feel free to contact your Mayor and city councilors to ask for their support in adopting our recommendations as proposed – these recommendations were carefully crafted through extensive research over many years of community dialogue and input,  if implemented fully, would place Orillia at the head of community garden pack province-wide. Community gardens are an increasingly valuable public resource that are well-deserving of these modest investments and support.

Upcoming Events

1. April 10th, Sunday, 1-4pm at  St. Davids Church, 133 James St. W, – Spring Meet and Greet Potluck, all welcome!

2. April 23rd, Saturday, 9am-12:30 – 6th Annual Seedy Saturday Orillia @ the Orillia Farmer’s Market . Free seed exchange, seed vendors, kids activities, educational information displays and interactive workshop!

3. TENTATIVE (Please check back for confirmation or contact your councilor) – April 27th, Wednesday, 430-630pm – Tudhope Room @ Orillia City Hall – Open House to Discuss Backyard Hen Bylaw

4. April 30th, Saturday, 1-3pm – Scotts Garden Centre, Coldwater Rd. – Seed Starting for the Grow a Row Program w/ Information Orillia

5. TENTATIVE (Please check back with the Orillia Fairgrounds Farmer’s Market) – May 7th, 8-1pm Orillia Fairgrounds Farmer’s Market Seedy Saturday


If you’d like to volunteer – email us w/ subject line “Volunteer” and one of our volunteer coordinators will reply to your request. Specify whether you would like to join either the OCG newsletter and or OCG Volunteer list. If you’d like to learn more about growing with OCG this season – join us for our upcoming potluck meet and greet (all welcome, even if you have nothing to share!).  We have a list of volunteer roles and tasks on our website – as well as a lot of other useful information.


  • We have a Website https://orilliacommunitygardens.wordpress.com/
  • We have a Facebook page (with 377 like!) featuring daily gardening tips and updates – www.facebook.com/orilliacommunitygardens
  • We have a Facebook group (with 478 members!) join for informative community discussion and event invitations – https://www.facebook.com/groups/67069663352/
  •  We also have a twitter account (with 469 followers!) https://twitter.com/orilliagrows

    Seed you soon!
    in SOILidarity,
    Orillia Community Gardens


    Below is a picture representing some of the spring harvest (dated April 2, 2016), from over-wintered vegetables (red kale, baby cabbage, beets, carrots) in a community garden in Orillia. Nuts to those who say it’s too cold to grow our all our own food year round in the great white north! Not only is it possible – but it’s delicious! 


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Thanks for a Grape Season!

Orillia Community Gardens (OCG) celebrates another incredibly successful year thanks to the contributions of countless people and organizations. We have harvested something in nearly every month bringing us closer than ever to our long-term goal of year-round food production. Thank you to the Simcoe County Food Partners Alliance for awarding OCG with a Food and Agriculture Charter Champion Award for “Best Community Garden”.

OCG shared 1100 pounds of fresh produce with The Sharing Place Food Bank this season, estimating equal amounts were harvested on a self-assessed, as needed basis, by people enjoying the gardens. We erected a geodesic dome greenhouse at the community garden atop the hill at Regent Park United Church. Thanks to Steve Appleby for donating this masterful piece of woodwork, presently sheltering 9 varieties of cold tolerant plants growing even now with the favourable weather. We built a shed there also to support a cluster of 3 community gardens in the south ward.

Another great success this year has been the involvement of Regent Park Public School students led by teacher Lisa Kent-Ligers. The enthusiastic support of staff and students there has been amazing. Ross McIntyre and Sustainable Schools volunteers provided crucial support in making these sessions a success, as well as other school garden initiatives in Orillia. On the education front, we would also like to acknowledge the Orillia Native Women’s Group, Lakehead University Orillia – Community Garden Project, and the Orillia Food Council for their growing support.bee-thank-you-sign

A special thanks to our on-going partners at Davey Gravel who have helped us for the past 5 seasons by delivering compost, enabling a dramatic increase in production. We’d like to thank Scott’s Garden Centre for hosting the Grow a Row program in the spring and caring for those plants in their greenhouse as well as donating several trays of different plants. Ego’s Nurseries also donated several much appreciated trays of plants and herbs. A big thanks to the Orillia and District Construction Association for donating a $500 gift card for materials to build the shed. And thanks to Home Depot for donating a $1000 card with which we bought a lawnmower as well as materials for the shed. Home Hardware donated delivery of the shed materials as well as 2 blueberry bushes and a pot of dwarf raspberry canes. Thanks to Kevin Gangloff and the Orillia Youth Centre for work in the gardens and behind the scenes. A big thank-you to Foodbanks Canada and Compass Group for grant money which bought many berry bushes, plants, seeds, tools, lumber for a scooter/wheelchair accessible raised bed at St. David’s Anglican-Lutheran Church community garden, as well as materials for a greenhouse we will build next season at a site yet to be determined. And thanks to Christine Hager and The Sharing Place Food Bank for administering this grant. Thanks also to MP Bruce Stanton for donating 2 picnic tables through the Tables By Teens program. We now have a picnic table at the High St Park garden and in the woodlot on the hill at Regent Park United church. Thanks also to Metro Orillia for their donation of extra seeds and the Orillia Public Library for their continued support running the Orillia Seed Library program and making meeting rooms available. Thanks to the City of Orillia and city staff for donating compost and work on various projects, like the development of a community garden policy for the City of Orillia. OCG would like to encourage and remind the public to safely utilize your green bins, and avoid composting toxic or inorganic materials, such as batteries and plastic, which could end up in our food gardens!

Finally, thanks to all others who have contributed in various ways by donating time and labour, plants, seeds, tools, materials and money to make all the produce and services the gardens provide possible. We have a lot of work behind us and a lot more ahead of us. OCG would like to invite the public to visit our website www.orilliacommunitygardens.org or follow us on facebook or twitter, to monitor our progress and learn of ways to participate in growing this worthwhile community endeavour.

OCG Team

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Community Garden Policy Recommendations – July 2015


We have just forwarded this Community Garden Policy recommendations to the City of Orillia, Recreation Advisory Committee, following a meeting we had with community garden stakeholders about a month ago. We are reposting it here to inform, educate and engage the public in this policy development process. If you have any questions or comments peas post below or email orilliacommunitygardens@hotmail.com.


Draft Community Garden Policy Recommendations for City of Orillia – July 2015

Part 1.
a) Priority Recommendations
b) Secondary Considerations

Part 2. Requests for Specific Gardens and list of potential sites
Part 3. Proposed Steps for Starting New Community Gardens

1. GROW TO PERSON – City of Orillia creates (hires new or assigns internally) a Community Gardens and Allotment Program Coordinator to serve as primary point of contact to work with Community, OCG to create and manage the Community Gardens and Allotment Program.

2. HOW TO START A NEW COMMUNITY GARDEN – City of Orillia creates step by step process (see appendage) for establishing community gardens and allotments in Orillia. City of Orillia facilitates process in a timely manner (within 4 months).

3. ALLOTMENT PROGRAM – City of Orillia creates and operates a distinct allotment program where community members can rent a secure plot to grow. This may include a fee and rental agreement, staffed garden management, fencing and site security.

4. RISKS AND COSTS – City of Orillia assumes liability and upfront infrastructure costs for community gardens and allotments on City of Orillia property. City of Orillia (or Parks Department) creates a dedicated Community Gardens infrastructure budget item (est.. $20, 000 annually), to forecast and cover future upfront Community Gardens and Allotment infrastructure. Unspent money to carry over for future years.

A public Community Gardens granting process be explored to enable the community to best utilize the funds to enhance public space and food security. Infrastructure includes the following elements: storage, shelter, seating, clean and fertile soil (soil tests), fencing (if necessary), signage, landscaping, pathways, accessible raised beds, and water (tanks, catchments, conservation).

5. COMMUNITY GARDEN ANIMATORS – City of Orillia establish Community Garden Animator position(s), providing training and payment for seasonal service. Community Garden Animator job is to promote success and public access by facilitating community gardening, and public participation in planning, planting, tending and sharing in the harvests. Est. 1-2 Community Garden Animators per site, with committed weekly garden open hours. (Est. Minimum 5-10 hours per week, April – Oct) . Focus on employing youth, seniors, and the unemployed. Animators report to Community Garden and Allotment Program Coordinator.

6. MAPPING – City of Orillia engages public in mapping Community Gardens across Orillia, while listing, prioritizing, and designing new garden sites. City of Orillia creates online and hardcopy map (renewed annually) , to be available in print at city cultural sites, and online city website. City of Orillia creates or supports a public/private land registry / land share (YIMBY – Yes in My Backyard) to connect those offering land to grow and those looking for land to grow.

City of Orillia considers classification system, developing criteria for determining suitable and priority sites, including proximity to need or request, to transit, access to water, contamination, competing land uses, risk etc.

7. YEAR ROUND / GREENHOUSES – City of Orillia enables year-round food production and growing opportunities via Community Greenhouse Strategy. This strategy includes year- round public access, educational and recreational programming, supporting a nursery and season extension. City of Orillia looks into preserving and upgrading heritage greenhouses (Leacock Museum, Coochiching Park, HRC, other?) and considers geodesic dome and other creative ecological designs.

8. ZERO WASTE + COMPOSTING – City of Orillia reinstates the “Master Composter” program, working with Waste Diversion and public to reduce organic waste and promote small scale ecological composting, to build the soil and grow healthy food. City of Orillia supports training and provides composting infrastructure (black bins, free compost giveaways and delivery to city sites, City Worm Farm, educational demonstration sites in select Community Gardens in Orillia.) City of Orillia strives to create an innovative community compost program, with a dedicated focus on reducing organics while generating mulch desired quantities of fertile soil.

** City of Orillia considers deconstruction and preservation of materials from city properties for reuse in Community Garden infrastructure, including sign posts, small structures, garden trellises, boxes, fences, etc.. with an eye to reducing both waste and costs.

9. CELEBRATIONS – City of Orillia creates and celebrates annual Community Gardening Day – May 1 – Official Start of Growing Season , date for City of Orillia to turn on Water, deliver soil, final date for opening new gardens, end of sign ups for allotments, etc… Food sharing, gardening action, cultural festivities..

10. SIGNAGE / GUIDE TO GROWING IN ORILLIA – City of Orillia works with Community / OCG to create welcoming, informative signage at City of Orillia Community Garden sites, details on website, recreation posters, brochures and calendars. City of Orillia with Community/OCG creates a hardcopy and digital Guide to Growing in Orillia – which describes all the ways to participate in gardening across the city, including links to resources, seasonal calendar and growing guide, plus invitations to educational and cultural events.

1. b) 5 Additional Considerations

11. SEEDS + PLANT PROPAGATION – City of Orillia supports Orillia Seed Library program with the Orillia Public Library and Lakehead University, broadening focus to seed growing and saving instruction. City of Orillia enables seed saving on public lands focusing on establishing a local seed stock for conservation and naturalization projects.

12. INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY – Community Gardening is not new to Orillia. City of Orillia makes effort to acknowledge and include contributions from First Nations, early settler/farming families, and newcomers, specifically through the planting of native and heritage varieties and traditional, ecological techniques, and experimenting with new ‘world crops’. Full Moon in June – Annual 3 Sisters Community Gardens Planting Tour, in recognition and honour of First Nations history and culture and growing towards truth and reconciliation.

13. INCENTIVES FOR PRIVATE LANDOWNERS: City of Orillia offers incentives for private landowners to have Community Gardens on their lands, such as tax break, water rebate (with a water conservation plan).

14. INCENTIVES FOR PUBLIC PARTNERS: City of Orillia supports community gardens on other public/institutional lands, such as Schools, churches, housing complexes, etc…

15. GROWING FOR THE FUTURE: City of Orillia explores, adopts and implements the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s document Healthy Community Design for Official Plans, with a particular focus on Food Access. Developing community food and agriculture centers in hand with educational and other public institutions to promote growth in our local food system and economy. In the near future working towards a broader Food & Agriculture Strategy for our City, Region and World. http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/…/hea…/Healthydesign.aspx

Part 2: REQUESTS FOR SPECIFIC GARDENS and list of other potential sites

– Storage
– Picnic Shelter w/rainwater collection
– Annual Compost / Woodchip Donation / Delivery
– Garden themed Mural on back of Brian Orser Arena (with Orillia Youth Centre, artists)
– Sign for park and road front, sign on front of BO arena?
– Bathroom access

SCOUT VALLEY by Regan House

– Updated site plan with 5-10 year outlook
– Fruit trees
– rainwater catchments
– signs
– Art installation
– outdoor oven
– Special events, use of building, interpretive centre for early settler and indigenous culture

JAMES ST Community Gardens and Allotments

– City of Orillia assumes liability
– Water Tank and regular fill-ups
– Compost/Woodchip Donate/Delivery
– Sign
– Fence (partial or 4 allotments)
– Allotment and Community Garden programming
– Greenhouses (temporary)

– Orma Park (w/Coochiching PS)
– Cooch Park w/ community greenhouse
– Tudhope Park w/ Mariposa et al
– Lankenwood Park (Andy)
– Clayt French Park (Allotments)
– Hillcrest Park (Allotments)
– Empty lot at Corner of Park St. and Fittons (next to Mariposa Place)
– Bus stops
– HRC – Food+ Agri-Cultural Centre (start 2016/2017)
– ODAS Park – w/ Orillia District Agriculture Society – Educational / Function Food and Ag Hub
– Consideration of food/community growing spaces in all parks and other city lands.
– Consider “micro – garden” program

Part 3: 9 Steps for Starting New Community Gardens

1. “First Contact” – A community group / member will initiate contact with the Community Gardens and Allotment Program Coordinator by sending a formal written request for a specific site, and or identifying potential sites with help from the Community Gardens and Allotment Program Coordinator . (Consider defining ‘group’ as 3 or more people).

2. “Site Review” – [Community Gardens and Allotment Program Coordinator , the Parks Supervisor and/or other staff from the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division] will review the site, ensuring stakeouts for electrical, gas or telephone lines have been carried out, and investigated for title history to determine ownership and other conditions for use.

3. “Community Consultations ” – A ‘garden development’ proposal sign and open invite is erected on site at least 1 month prior to public meeting. Community consultations occur through a public meeting process with the guidance of the Community Gardens and Allotment Program Coordinator , [the Parks Management, and the Ward Councillor]. Minutes and attendance of the meeting will be taken and submitted by the Community Gardens and Allotment Program Coordinator.

4. “Consultative Garden Design” – The groups proposed design will be assessed through a consultative process with the community. The community group will send a list of materials required and a project timeline to the Community Gardens and Allotment Program Coordinator .

5. “Prepare Report” – Reports are prepared by the [Community Gardens and Allotment Program Coordinator ] for review by [ Parks management] . The implementation process must be completed within a 4 month period. *See Report and Implementation process ) – cost and related work, timelines, other issues to notice?

6. “Funding and Resource Assessment” – Financial requirements and sources of funding/materials will be confirmed and approved by the Parks Department . The completed Community Garden Permit and Regulation Form requires the signature of the Director of Parks.

7. “Groundbreaking” – The community group and the Community Gardens and Allotment Program Coordinator will agree on a date to begin work. [Works and Emergency Services] will be notified, if necessary, of the date (May 1 every year?) and resolve any issues with water access.

8. “Ongrowing Support” Community Gardens and Allotment Program Coordinator will provide orientation training on community gardening in the City, as well as on-going advice and technical support.

9. “Bi/Annual Review” Permission to operate the community garden will be granted by the [Parks Branch] and reviewed on an annual (or biannual) basis.

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Creating a Community Garden Policy With & For the City of Orillia – May 14th

“Humankind has not woven the web of life.  We are but one thread within it.  Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.  All things are bound together.  All things connect.”         -Chief Seattle, 1855

Mayor Steve Clarke planting some seeds to help fill out our gardens.

Mayor Steve Clarke planting some seeds to help fill out our gardens.

When we connect, we get things done. Important things, like building the policies and programs that benefit our community and its residents.

On Thursday May 14th, from 5:30-730pm the Orillia FOOD Council in partnership with the Orillia Community Gardens and the City of Orillia, are hosting a free public forum on the Creation of a Community Garden Policy for the City of Orillia. The community is invited and encouraged to attend and learn about the progress between the community and city officials towards promoting and enabling healthy food production.

Below is a request to form a “Community Garden Policy Working Group”

Dear Mayor and Council,

On behalf of Orillia Community Gardens (OCG), following community consultations and recommendations gathered at the Orillia Food Council’s Food Democracy event on February 22nd 2015, we request your support and collaboration in the creation of a “Community Garden Policy Working Group”.
Continue reading the letter to Mayor and Council

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5th Year Anniversary Garden Party!

1396041_10102117042437062_854870633_nSpring is finally here. It’s time to celebrate!  This exciting, all-ages event, in partnership with the Orillia Youth Centre as part of Orillia National Youth Week, is one you won’t want to miss!

Wednesday May 6th 3-6 pm at High Street Park Community Garden (behind Brian Orser Arena)

What’s happening?

  • Planting of garden beds (seeds and tools provided, no experience necessary)
  • Orientation for new gardeners (come prepared to get dirty)
  • Food – zero waste potluck – bring a small, healthy contribution if you can (BYObowls/cutlery)
  • At 5 pm, we’ll pause to hear from long-time community gardeners and local dignitaries as we kick off the new growing season

The weather forecast is looking amazing for our special event, 21 degrees and sunny, so lets all get out, make some new friends, and help grow our community! See you there!

Sign up on Facebook for this event (or just show up, it’s ok).

Learn more about High Street Park Community Garden.


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