It is only fitting that the roots of the community garden in Estevan was group of people who had vision of a place where people could come together to grow a variety of vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers.
In the summer of 2013, a small number of Estevan residents started meeting with the City of Estevan, which resulted in Estevan Community Gardens on a once-vacant lot.
Several of the gardeners who keep the Estevan Community Garden going attended a fifth anniversary celebration in July. Back row (from left): Theresa Beck, Jenna Gallipeau, Selena Thompson, Verna Thompson, Barb Wright, Tracy Stepp, Stephanie Davis, Melanie Brandow, and Courtney Shakelton. Front row: Renesmee Thompson, Aubrie Jorgensen and Christa Jorgensen.
“Estevan Community Gardens would not be possible without the engagement, excitement and support of many organizations, the City of Estevan Mayor and Council and community members. We look forward to continuing to grow community one row at a time,” says Barb Wright, Public Health Nutritionist with the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
Wright said that community engagement and awareness of the project grew quickly through newspaper articles, social media and informal discussion. Now in its fifth year, the garden has expanded to 18 raised beds, helped by a grant from Fulbright Canada through the University of Regina to help to continue to make the garden accessible to those with limited mobility. The group was has also purchase a garden shed and garden tools.
Through a partnership with the Estevan Public Library, gardeners are able to learn and share their knowledge on gardening, nature, and cooking with the entire community of Estevan.
Wright said the garden has provided community members access to safe, affordable and locally produced vegetables and fruit as well as great opportunity for physical activity and stress management. She also added that the garden has also provided the people involved with another social support network, which is another important determinant of health.