NEW: The 85 Green Learning Garden

vegetables

We’re transforming our decorative garden in the Sheriff John Motz Courtyard at Central Library into a vegetable garden, and we want you to help!

This is the first step in our new initiative, 85 Green, a series of projects that will promote nutritional literacy and sustainable communities, while strengthening social ties.

The 85 Green Learning Garden will help provide opportunities in three general areas:

  • Physical and mental health (e.g., physical activity, healthy eating, and connecting with nature)
  • Community building and social inclusion (e.g., building social ties, working together and sharing experiences about food)
  • Lifelong learning and skills (e.g., nutritional literacy, urban agriculture and environmental sustainability)

We’re already up to our elbows in planning, with Jill Byers from Seeds of Diversity. Library staff are busy developing a roster of programs for children, teens, and adults that includes hands-on activities as well as lectures and events.

The actual planting, nurturing, and harvesting work will be a true collaborative effort with library staff, volunteer, and program participants.

Research shows that gardening:

  • gives us a sense of responsibility
  • allows us all to be nurturers
  • keeps us connected to other living things
  • helps us to relax and let go; working in nature releases happy hormones

Community gardens in Waterloo Region continue to be popular and well used, and some even have waiting lists for people who are interested in their own garden plot. The 85 Green Learning Garden is not a community garden, but it will provide an accessible way for people who have never gardened to start learning, and for people who have experience to share their knowledge.

We’re currently raising funds for tools, soil and plants, and water accessibility, and every little bit helps.

Thank you for your support, and stay tuned for updates about the Learning Garden and other upcoming 85 Green projects.

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