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Social and Environmental Benefits of Parkway Green Generation Garden

Parkway Green Generation Garden Project by Ecosource, City of Mississauga

The Parkway Green Generation Garden is originated by Ecosource, a non-profit eSocial and Environmental Benefits of Parkway Green Generation Gardennvironmental organization, which works in partnership with the City of Mississauga. Their mission is to inspire and empower the community by becoming more environmentally responsible through creative public education. The Parkway Green Generation Garden was opened in May 2011, with the size of 100x 100 ft.

The Parkway Green Generation Garden is just situated amongst the Ecole Renee Lamoureux and St. Charles Garnier School, which has a larger community learning space where students from both schools and other local youth can acquire more about gardening.  Ecosource provides space for the cultivation of crops as well as infrastructures such as clean water, compost, wood chips, tools and educational opportunities for members of the community. A water line is nearby the Parkway Green Generation Garden which delivers member gardeners with clean and safe Municipal water. Residents of Mississauga ask for maintenance fee of $25 which goes for share assets. This particular family plot community garden has 40 members and we have a number of wait lists for our community garden that can be adopted to produce food.  All gardeners are practicing organic methods because the use of pesticides is prohibited.

A lot of educational opportunities are provided in the Parkway Green Generation Garden. These opportunities aim to help individuals to go back to their community, their backyards and apartments and to be able to utilize the skills that they have acquired to contribute to their food security and sustainable system, which will, in the long run benefit them.

Most gardeners in Parkway Green Generation Garden are the immigrant female who are looking to be a part of their community. The gardeners are from different nationality who they like to meet, talk, discuss and learn from each other. Also school trips are organized annually to educate children about agriculture. Also, children gain the opportunity to participate in farming through annual celebrations for Children’s Gardening Day which is done in August. Connecting youth with seniors to promote intergenerational learning through the garden will also work.

The Venn diagram below shows how Ecosource works with the City of Mississauga to enhance the benefits of Urban Agriculture in the City of Mississauga.

Social and Environmental Benefits of Parkway Green Generation GardenIn my paper, I will analyze the social and environmental benefits and how to optimize these benefits in Parkway Green Generation Garden in Mississauga.

Social Benefits

1– Parkway green generation garden is a great place for gardeners to socialize and bring the community together. Because most of the gardeners are new migrants to Canada and they are from a different nationality, so Parkway green generation garden is a good place for them to relax, undertake physical activity, socialize and mix with neighbors, sharing across culturally different backgrounds and religions. The garden also provides gardeners with learning opportunities  about horticulture and sustainable environmental practices,  as well as being an important source of low-cost fresh produce for a healthy diet.   But all these benefits come to minimal during winter months.

  • Action to optimize benefit is to open a workshop during the winter for all gardeners to gather in school facility within a schedule arranged by the Community Gardens Program Manager.
  • Type of stakeholder to take action: Community Gardens Program Manager.

2– The other social benefits that can be optimized for Parkway green generation garden is to provide students in both schools with a fresh meal once a week . All can benefit from this, including gardeners (parents), students, and schools. And the bonds in the community will be increased, considering that meal offered is fresher, tastes, better and healthier for the students. Additionally, the products will be seasonal and with regional varieties since they understand more of food creation and gardening. This would also promote and sustain rural heritage and lifestyle, encourage sustainable farming practices amongst citizens in the community, keep farming skills alive, and more involvement. This development would also maintain and develop local food systems that would enable the students to desire locally grown food products, and involvement in community gardening will be increased.

3- Parkway green generation garden also provides playing and learning ground for children. By creating, growing and maintaining the natural garden, the children are provided with a healthy outdoor experience where they can play, learn different organism in the environment, and develop a genuine respect for nature. In order to optimize this benefit, especially in winter season, arranging an urban agriculture day in the school with the help of University of Toronto students will be of great importance. Basically, the value of green infrastructure in the development of natural garden has become increasingly recognized in an urban landscape, even health professionals, planners, designers around the world, and policy makers have accepted the need for this. When Parkway green generation garden fosters this concept among school children, they promote sustainability of the urban environment, good environmental health, and an avenue for children to have fun and relate to nature. Similarly, research had shown that there’s a great relationship between nature and the human well-being and health when children are given this opportunity, they are exposed to more psychological health and well-being as well as social interaction and community building.

Environmental Benefits

1- Recycle school waste and make Compost from it to use it in the garden;

  • Action to optimize beneficial use of waste material from Ecole Renee Lamoureux and St. Charles Garnier School is by constructing a compost pit for waste paper towel waste and catering waste to get quality compost for the school garden.
  • Type of stakeholder to take action: Community Gardens Program Manager

2-Parkway Green preserves the environment through its Mississauga’s first Community Orchard in which both a laneway of apple and pear trees planted. These trees provide shade and fresh air to the surrounding environment.

  • Action to optimize benefit: There should be regular trimming of the laneway of apple and pear trees to minimize over growth and control the quantity of falling leaves.
  • Type of stakeholder to take action: Community Gardens Program Manager

3- The Generation Garden also hosts a Habitat Garden that was established through the Habitat Garden Education Project in the year 2011 and aimed at improving the plant life, shelter and nesting places for birds.

  • Action to optimize benefit: Expansion of Habitat Garden and planting more trees to provide a friendly environment that supports native birds, bees, butterflies, and other wildlife. The action to expand habitat garden will greatly benefit wildlife animals, including birds, by providing food, shelter, water, and nesting places. The planted trees will be characterized by a more natural and a variety of plant choices, naturalistic placement of the trees and pruning of the plant to ensure uniformity.

However, the risk of habiting wild animals and insect that are harmful to human beings can limit the usage of some parts of the garden with trees.

  • Type of stakeholder to take action: Community Gardens Program Manager