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Space available at Bonnyville's community garden

LICA Environmental Stewards have community garden beds up for grabs, just in time for this year’s growing season.
The community garden in Bonnyville is getting ready for another growing season. Pictured are crops from a past growing season.

Bonnyville – LICA Environmental Stewards have community garden beds up for grabs, just in time for this year’s growing season.  

Located between the Wholesale Club and Sobeys in Bonnyville, there are 11 beds available, and two available with a waived fee for non-profits, interested parties, or for volunteers wanting to donate their harvest to the local food bank. 

“What we’ve come to realize in this area is a lot of people have the interest in taking up gardening, or interest in canning, but they just don’t know where to start. So, we make an effort to have gardening workshops through the season,” explains Kristina Morris, executive director of LICA (Lakeland Industry & Community Association). 

This season, there will be a butterfly release, bat house making workshop, gardening 101 workshop, and seasoned gardeners who are available to learn from. 

Morris says they’re “trying to utilize this outdoor space and... offer some programs outdoors to people... It's an opportunity for seasoned gardeners to come and learn more, as well as novice gardeners to learn either from that network of gardeners or from us.” 

This year, they have eight community plots already designated for donation to the food bank, and they are always looking for volunteers to help. 

“Individuals don't have to have gardening experience to help volunteer,” says Morris.  
“We could always arrange a time with them and go out in the garden and show them what's available in terms of tools and what we need in terms of volunteer hours.”  

Even helping with watering once every week or two is appreciated, says Morris.  

The community gardens are also making self-sufficiency social. 

“The more hands the merrier,” says Morris. “[It’s] essentially building that sense of community. We're giving back to those that are in need and were also getting people interested in understanding the benefits of that self-sustainability.” 

Morris adds, “You can really grow an abundance of food if you apply yourself.” 

There are many homes in Bonnyville that don’t have yards, and she believes it is important to provide citizens with the opportunity to have garden space.  

“We want to make sure that we’re providing equal opportunities through the community to be able to reap the benefits of self-sustainability.” 

There is also a community compost at the gardens where locals can put their grass clippings or compost.  

“We encourage as many people as possible to utilize that system. That way we’re also reducing that waste in our landfills,” says Morris. After a four-year cycle, the compost is put into the community garden beds. 

Morris expresses how nice it is to “compliment the already existing community garden that’s been put on by the Seniors Drop-in Centre and be able to partner with the Wholesale Club and beautify the once barren land and... provide it as a communal space for everybody to enjoy.” 

Family fun 

LICA will be hosting its second annual family fun day on June 8.  

“We're going to have a free barbecue with ice cream and a whole bunch of different activities, a bouncy castle, a whole bunch of different things for children and families to enjoy.”  

The family fun day offers residents a chance to check out the community gardens. 

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