Heartbeat June 2019

Read the June Heartbeat Newsletter here

Making our Garden Accessible

Good news!  We have received $1,878.14 from the United Church of Canada, Embracing the Spirit Innovation Grant.  This is due to the stellar grant writing skills of Nicole Tanti, Community Engagement Coordinator. 

This funding will enable us to purchase:

  • 2 accessible garden planters: sold at Lee Valley Tools and are made by company VegTrug.
  • 6 x Radius Ergonomic Hand Tools trowels are designed with comfort in mind and are excellent for keeping the joints in the most comfortable position.
  • Garden Gloves: coated in nitrile are durable and make gardening more comfortable for many people.
  • 6 X Continental 1.6 Litre Watering Cans.
  • To get our garden started, we need some plant material. We would invest in some perennial plants that can come back each year. We would also purchase annual plants.
  • 20 X 9.99 per 30L bag of premium potting soil.
  • Signage will be an essential part of the garden. It can create visual interest, encourage self-guided exploration, and explain what is growing and why it is growing in the garden. We would like the creation of signage to be a collaborative and creative project that can be done with our congregation and community members.
  • Wind chime will add visual and auditory stimulation in the garden.
  • Garden Party Launch

Below is some of the information that went into the grant application [written by Nicole Tanti].

At Beach United Church, we have an established native species and drought tolerant garden adjacent to our building. Since its inception, the garden has been maintained regularly by knowledgeable and dedicated volunteers. The garden is in ground requiring those who interact with it to have a level of physical mobility, as kneeling and sitting are required to access the garden. This has created a barrier for many people who are interested in participating in gardening at the church but are unable to do so because of physical barriers. 

Our building is fully accessible but our outdoor garden space is not. This is a very important issue for us to address because as a community of faith and a part of the wider community we strive to welcome all and to actively remove barriers that may limit people’s participation in engaging in community life.

We would like to solve this issue by having raised garden bed planters outside our church that are fully accessible to people with limited mobility and to have features that engage all 5 senses for those who engage and learn differently in the world around them. Barrier-free gardens can provide a unique opportunity for people in our community to participate in gardening that may not have an occasion to do so.

Spring blessings to you all,

Karen Dale

in ministry with Beach United Church