Our friends at Guelph Street Community Garden made the news! See The Record article on another Kitchener/Waterloo community garden and the rainwater harvesting system they’ve built!
Waterloo Region Record
KITCHENER — Kitchener has several little parks tucked away in the thick of old neighbourhoods or hidden down winding streets.
Uniroyal Goodrich Park on Guelph Street is one of those spots. It is a small space that wasn’t used much until a group of nearby residents started a community garden.
Now it is a bustling piece of nature with 24 plots in the small space where people grow tomatoes, gladioli, gigantic sunflowers, corn and squash.
The Guelph Street community garden is in its second year and Juanita Metzger, one of four coordinators, said that it has been a great gathering space.
“As neighbourhoods change, not everyone has space for a backyard garden,” she said. “It’s also a great way for getting to know people in the neighbourhood.”
But the Guelph Street garden is no ordinary community garden project. It has something unique.
This summer, some neighbours built a rainwater harvesting system next to the plot so they could water their garden in an environmentally sustainable way.
“There was no on-site water source here and we had tried every possible avenue,” Metzger said.
The little park sits atop a hill between Waterloo and Weber streets and is blocked off on two sides by large parking lots and also railway tracks. It is fairly isolated, making it difficult to transport water.
Metzger’s husband designed the large wooden structure with plastic containers on one end that will collect the rainwater that trickles down eavestroughs.
“We are doing this so we are not so reliant on municipal water,” Metzger said. Four large plastic containers can hold up to 4,000 litres of rain water. She estimated that would be enough to water the garden for two to three weeks during a dry spell.
Metzger’s own plot is wild and crowded with several colourful goodies. She has squash growing up a vertical trellis surrounding by bright orange marigolds and cosmos.
“People have different styles of gardening,” she said. “We’re just getting started here, we would love to expand further and have more ideas for urban agriculture.”
Harvesting rainwater is just the first step for this group of eager urban gardeners.
“It’s a great way to build community connections and it’s an activity to get together,” Metzger said.
She envisions a future park with sculptures, workshops under the rain water harvesting system, a brick bake oven, fruit trees and berry bushes.
“Just some more ways to help animate the space,” she added. “It gets us thinking about urban sustainability and reminds us we can still provide for ourselves.”
You can visit the Guelph Street Community Garden blog as well – http://guelphstreetgarden.wordpress.com/