Let’s Get More Community Gardens in North Bay

Benefits of Community Gardens

With the City of North Bay hosting a Waterfront Design Workshop tonight, why not discuss and delve into the benefits of more Community Gardens in our beautiful city!

With recent research, it’s become quite evident that gardening in itself has many benefits to an individual. Whether it be on someone’s own personal property, or in a community garden, gardening has been proven to:
– Provide heart health and stroke risk –
Gardening can be a very simple and therapeutic way to achieve the 2. 5 hours of moderate-intensity of activity needed each week. A Stockholm study showed that regular gardening cuts stroke and heart attack risk by up to 30% for those over 60. Raised beds can save the joints and extend possible gardening years for seniors, or for anyone wishing to garden more comfortably (Source).
– Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Risk –
One long-term study followed nearly 3000 older adults for 16 years, tracking incidence of all kinds of dementia and assessing a variety of lifestyle factors. Researchers found daily gardening to represent the single biggest risk reduction for dementia, reducing incidence by 36%. Another study estimated the risk reduction at 47%!  (Source)
– Body Strength –
Exercising both the arms and legs is recommended to help prevent illnesses like coronary disease. With most everyday activities only involving the arms, gardening is a great way to incorporate the entire body while exercising (Source).
– Mental Health –
It’s fairly known that gardening is a great exercise to help promote stronger and better overall mental health in individuals. Community Gardening provides improved mental health overall. Horticulture therapy and ecotherapy has been an established practice with other therapies to help treat mild and moderate mental illness as well as/including PTSD (Source). For further reading, consider taking a look at a program run by CMHA in Grey Bruce, and their data in “Gardening for Food & Mental Health“.

Not only are Community Gardens beneficial to individuals, the Garden also promotes  environmental and food literacy education, sustainability, and an overall positive feeling to a community.
– Connects People to their Community –
being involved in a Grow community garden enables people to connect with their community in a meaningful way. A way that respects difference and promotes diversity (Source).
– Brings People Together & Stimulates Social Interaction –
Community Gardens allow for an open forum for public to come together that may not normally be a part of the same group. Individuals are able to meet and connect over like-minded interests, compare ideas and perhaps develop something bigger and better than they thought.
– Economic Benefits –
Community Gardens are typically less expensive and easier to maintain rather than a public park space since individuals are responsible for their spaces. Cities can also generate funds with the sale of ‘plots’ in the garden space. Studies have also been shown to increase property values for benefiting neighborhoods (source).
– Environmental –
Community gardens help restore oxygen to the air and help reduce local air pollution. The gardens itself will also beautify an area and promote local sustainability. By
providing a “hands-­on” learning opportunity to gain knowledge of the natural world, community gardens offer a natural contribution to our urban areas (source).

Whether or not you’re attending tonight’s workshop, or simply an interested party please further promote the development and use of more Community Gardens in our community! There are tons of literature available on the internet to support these beliefs. You can always contact us for further information, and all ideas are welcome!!

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13346817_10154174528011768_6054338625717045541_nGrow A Row 2016 is Officially Launched!

On Friday, June 10th, 2016 North Bay Community Garden Coalition Members launched #GrowARow2016, along with: The Gathering Place, The Salvation Army, Heritage Gardeners, North Bay Fire and Emergency Services, North Bay City Police and, Rebuilt Resources at Fire Station 1 on Princess Street. Rebuilt Resources graciously donated the materials needed to build the raised planters, with the men and women at Fire Station 1 planting and maintaining the fruit and vegetables growing in their gardens dedicated to Grow A Row.

The afternoon was filled with smiles, sunshine, and some wagers made for friendly competition between City Police and Fire & Emergency Services. North Bay Police Chief Shawn Devine Fire & Emergency Services Deputy Chief Mike Bechard shook hands and decided that the best pumpkin grown at the front entrance would win a baked pumpkin pie from the loser. Although it was said there’s no competition between the two emergency services, it’s clear that some comparisons may be made services’ of their  produce growing skills.


Although one of the main goals of Grow A Row is to provide extra local fresh produce for The Gathering Place, The Salvation Army Food Bank, and The North Bay Food Bank; Grow A Row has multiple equally important benefits. With promoting Grow A Row, the Community Garden Coalition hopes to convey the importance of edible landscapes. Instead of flowers and plants, change up your gardens to provide your own home-grown produce. It’s surprisingly easy how you can give yourself, your family, and community programs convenient access to fresh produce. Grow A Row will also provide your children and young family members with a knowledge base and understanding of  how food comes from the ground to your table. Seeing a row of cucumbers suddenly appear in one’s garden could utterly delight a child, and bring about a life long love and respect for fresh, local food. The program also aims to bridge the gap between those growing the food, and those that may have limited access to fresh food. Instead of providing cash donations, provide something tangible to local community members who may be struggling.

It’s estimated that Grow A Row 2015 brought in over 3,000 lbs of food. The Community Garden Coalition, and their community partners hope to see that number grow during the 2016 season.

Watch the CTV Northern Ontario Grow A Row 2016 News Story!

For more information on Grow A Row, seed pick up, produce drop off locations, and times, visit the Grow A Row page on our website. 

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Events Page Updates

Check out the Events page for the upcoming events for April & May!


They include:


Designing a Food Garden – Melanie Alkins
Wednesday, April 9 @ 6:30pm

North Bay & Area Community Garden Coalition Meeting
Thursday, April 24 @ 9:30am

Heritage Gardeners Annual Clean Up Blitz at Waterfront
Saturday, April 26 @ 9:00am

17th Annual Heritage Gardener Symposium
Sunday, April 27 @ 10:30am

Heritage Gardeners Photo Art Fundraiser
Thursday, May 1 @ 6:30pm

Rain Barrel Sale (Greening Nipissing & Knox Callander United Church)
Saturday, May 24 @ 9:00am & 11:00am


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North Bay Blooms is back

Another season of beautiful front yard gardens is kicking off and North Bay Blooms is in full swing once again!

North Bay Blooms is a local community organization that hosts a fun frontyard garden “competition” each summer. Nominations are received from the community at large and the NBB committee chooses the top ten.

Check out this fun community gardener appreciation event if you haven’t seen it yet!

Go gardens!


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Snapshot from our last meeting, June 20th



Here is a snapshot of the coalition’s meeting last Thursday, June 20th. We’ve got reps from Greening Nipissing, Heritage Gardeners, North Bay and Parry Sound District Health Unit, The Gathering Place, North Bay Food Bank, Nipissing Canadian Mental Health Association, and Nipissing Legal Clinic.

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“How we can eat our landscapes” – Inspiration for North Bay

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North Bay Community Garden Coalition Meeting – April 24th 4-5pm

Open to the public. Please join us if you are interested in coalition activities or if you would like to join the coalition as a member organization or individual community member.

For more information contact Erin Reyce at the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit at Erin.Reyce@nbpsdhu.ca 

North Bay Community Garden Coalition
Meeting Agenda
Date and Time: April 24, 2013 4-5 pm
Location: The Gathering Place, 392 Algonquin Ave, North Bay, ON

1) Call to order
2) Approval of February minutes
3) Discussion of member roles and responsibilities
a. Website coordinator
b. Facebook coordinator
c. Rotating chair, minute taker?
4) Update for the gathering place garden
5) Website
a. Letters of Support
b. Descriptions of gardens
6) Waterfront community garden proposal
7) Additional Coalition members
8) Potential for additional community gardens
a. Lakeshore site
b. Schools
c. Businesses
d. other
9) New business
10) Adjournment

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