New life has been breathed into the Rainbow Park community garden in Saint John's south end, all thanks to the hard work of volunteers.
The weekend makeover of the community garden was organized by P.U.L.S.E., or, People United In the Lower South End. Volunteers tilled the soil, built wooden garden boxes, cleaned the exterior and more.
"The human capital, I think, is the really interesting thing...we had about 10 to 12 people at all times. A mixture of men, women and children,"says P.U.L.S.E. board member Dakota Lutes, who himself put in two days hard work at the community garden this weekend.
He tells us that the Rainbow Park community garden, which sits just off Broad Street, has never really flourished in the past and there have been a lot of problems with it.
"What we really wanted to do was make it a beautiful space that would become a beacon for community life in that Rainbow Park area," says Lutes.
The Rainbow Park composting system is being revitalized and a drainage system is going to be established as well. The goal of year one is to create and maintain a beautiful space and in the future, Lutes tells us, they would like to develop structured programming.
"We're hoping to create a community of novice and seasoned gardeners," Lutes says.
"There's no demographic of people that garden, you can do it from the time you're a kid or to the time you're very old so it will bring a nice mixture of people there. So, by growing fresh local food right in our community that'll definitely have an impact on food security if we can develop the right programming around the space."
Lutes was the research coordinator for the South End Asset Mapping Project which examined, among other issues, food security in the South end — which is a major problem in the area. You can watch his presentation below.
If you're interested in a plot, you can contact Mary LeSage, director of operations at P.U.L.S.E., at [email protected]. The plots are by donation.