Cornwall Community Hospital

Toronto Rehab Institute, Lyndhurst (University Health Network) | Cornwall Community Hospital  Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital | Hanover District Hospital  |  The Ottawa Hospital

…back to Visioning Sessions

2.1 Background

In both the survey and interview process, representatives from the Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) expressed keen interest in an on-site project. Further consultation determined that the ideal scenario for the CCH would be a community garden project on a large space available at the north end of the campus. We reached out to All Things Food (ATF) Bouffe 360, an organization working collectively and collaboratively towards food security, food literacy, and economic growth for Cornwall and Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry (SDG). The community garden network of SDG Counties was created in 2015 as a mechanism for sharing experience and resources, supporting new projects, and providing an environment for all local gardeners to flourish. This local community garden network is a working group of ATF. Network membership has reached over 25 individuals and agencies representing gardens, programs, and events across the region.

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Figure 4: Cornwall visioning session

While internal commitments precluded the involvement of hospital representatives, on May 20, 2016, members of the Community Garden Network of SDG and Cornwall were invited to inform the development of a community garden at the Cornwall Community Hospital in partnership with SOIL. Those members who attended the SOIL ‘Blue Sky’ visioning session in May represented many of Cornwall’s key garden efforts, with only a few individuals from SDG.

Representatives were able to offer considerable insight and feedback on the proposed SOIL garden project, and it is worth recognizing their individual efforts and the potential to collaborate with them in the future. For context, a summary of the network members (both those who attended the meeting and those who did not)—as well as their garden projects, objectives and activities, and links to videos and info—has been provided in Appendix 1.

Network members in attendance included:

  • Corrie D’Alessio – Seaway Valley Community Health Centre Community Health Worker and lead on the Hamilton Crescent and Lemay Community Garden Projects
  • Lee Theodore – Mustard Seed Community Garden at Knox St. Paul Church
  • Brenda Norman – Kozroots Community Empowerment Projects
  • Julie Walker – Community gardener and retired RCMP officer who has supported Transition Cornwall and Kozroots Community Empowerment Projects
  • Kathleen Rawnsley – Transition Cornwall Food Action Group Chair
  • Kendra Smith –The Agape Centre Soup Kitchen and Food Bank
  • Clement Gwanyama – Intensive Case Manager, Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Kat Rendek – All Things Food Network Coordinator
  • Sarah Good – Community member, present as note-taker

 

Members not in attendance included:

  • Kim Cameron – Seaway Valley Community Health Centre, Volunteer Gardener and children’s program coordinator
  • Rachelle Doth – Glengarry Inter Agency Group – Early Years Centre, Children’s programs
  • Alain D’Aoust – Canadian Organic Growers Growing Up Organic, SDG Coordinator
  • Sandy Casselman – Linking Hands Dundas County
  • Susan and John Towndrow – Founders, Transition Cornwall
  • Ivan Labelle – Centre De Santé Communautaire De L’Estrie, Community Health Worker
  • Alex de Wit – Social Development Council of Cornwall and Area, Director; All Things Food, Chair
  • Lesley Johansen – Gardening for Groceries, founder
  • Karen Carriere – Transition Cornwall
  • Carolyn Manenger – Augusta Gardens
  • Mallory and Andrew Hagen – Mustard Seed Garden
  • Juliette Labossiere – Centre De Santé Communautaire De L’Estrie, Community Health Worker
  • Loretta Landmesser – Co-Founder of Friends of King George Park, Maxville

2.2 Interest and Incentives

Cornwall Community Hospital expressed interest in a potential project from the moment of first contact with SOIL in 2014. While the potential for therapeutic benefits to recovering patients held great interest, it was decided that the most appropriate site would lend itself better to a community garden space.

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Figure 5: Site map, Cornwall Community Hospital

2.2.1 Patient impact

As a result, patient impact is expected to be minimal—with the community garden space at the north end of campus, and the distance from the buildings presenting a barrier to regular visits. It is anticipated that the largest impact will be for the community at large, as well as hospital staff and visiting family and friends.

2.2.2 Community Impact

One of the central interests of the hospital is to increase community engagement. An issue in the past for many gardens is that most lack any form of insurance coverage and receive no form of training for how to use tools properly. Educated growers thus face safety barriers to employing individuals to care for land. Pairing the gardens with a public institution could be a solution for this. The potential mental health benefits of a community garden have also been discussed. Statistics and evidence of such benefits should be compiled for presentation to funders.

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Figure 6: Detail, CCH site map

2.2.3 Facility Impact

Construction on Marleau Avenue, on the north edge of the hospital campus, is scheduled to begin in the near future. The suggested creation of community orchard could provide a sound barrier to the wider, busier Marleau Avenue, as well as the existing helipad, giving patients a more tranquil environment in which to recover. Fruit and nut trees could be planted on the hill as a general windbreak, to provide shade, to decrease erosion of soil, and to protect the space from the helipad noise and wind.

2.2.4 Brand Impact

The Cornwall Communications Director has informed ATF that several people approached them this year for approval to start a community garden in public parks around the city, which shows a need for a more accessible garden space in the city. With a large concentration of population in the immediate neighbourhood and limited community garden space, a commitment of this type by the hospital would be particularly well-received. The investment in a community garden would demonstrate Cornwall Community Hospital’s commitment to sustainability and the wellbeing of its patients and community.

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Figure 7: Detail CCH site map

2.3 Site Description

The proposed site is a flat grassy field adjacent to the hospital parking lot, bordered by Alice and Marleau Streets. It is approximately 500×200 feet and has a helipad at the southern end.

2.3.1 Scale

While the community garden could, in time, include a shed for storing tools and eventually a greenhouse for seedlings, it was agreed that the best course of action is to start with a small in-ground garden and progress through multiple phases over several years, growing slowly while attracting new gardeners.

2.3.2 Competing land uses

No competing land uses currently exist for the proposed garden space.

2.4 Description of the Proposed Project

The proposed project is a community-run garden with a social enterprise model that provides a space for community members of all ages to experience the opportunity to grow their own food.

2.4.1 Purpose of gardens / production

The garden could have many different purposes, opening food-growing space for e.g. households with low income, new Canadians, rehabilitating veterans, youth at risk, or for the community at large. The garden could also be an area for nearby seniors, particularly those moving into the new condos at Cotton Mills that lack a garden space. “Blue zones” have been suggested where seniors can enjoy the space and even contribute labour.

2.4.2 Program model and governance

Session participants decided that this garden should have a social enterprise model – not-for-profit, but with sales to support programming, and donations to the hospital to support or develop ongoing viability. In order to establish a community garden that is viable over the long term, the merits of employing farmers independently has been considered. One idea is to create a shared land-use model where a farmer could be responsible for half of the space and the community responsible for the other half. Whether or not this is feasible needs to be investigated further.

Two different models for the site have been proposed: plot-based (territorialism) and open-scale model—the latter involving variations on shared land, donated food and collective governance. A mix of both may offer more flexibility to accommodate all types of gardeners.

Community members expressed that the open space model would only be feasible if there was a minimum of one employed/assigned farmer/garden coordinator at the site that could shepherd volunteers, provide training, perform group workshops, lead a mentors’ garden and children’s garden, and establish a list of tasks. The task list would reduce barriers to participation by guiding the garden efforts throughout the week. This way anyone could join in the garden activities by simply looking at the top of the list to see what needs to be done.

The ATF Network is planning to develop a toolkit for prospective community gardens: a hand-off package with funding that would include tools to help communities set up gardens (e.g. Soil testing kit and instructions, etc.). ATF has limited resources and continues to look for funding to hire a Community Garden Network coordinator. There is also the possibility of the farmer/community members being allowed a space on hospital grounds to sell the produce to the general public and families visiting patients.

2.4.3. Primary and secondary uses for food

The hospital gift store may serve as a market space as it touches a wide base of volunteers. Selling the garden produce would help to subsidize the costs associated with running the garden, whether through a farm stand outside or a fridge and boxes in the gift shop.

There are also many community health centers that will use the produce for classes or meals, and the Green Food Box (~200 boxes per month).

2.4.4 Partners

The community garden could work with the three food banks in Cornwall: Agape Centre, The Salvation Army, and Saint Vincent de Paul. Both the Salvation Army and Saint Vincent food banks have recently moved to new locations, and are planning to offer more food skill programing in the new year.

The Agape Centre Soup Kitchen and Food Bank is the largest of the three and open five days per week. Agape offers a garden program, cooking classes, and children’s programing, as well as a fruit tree forest.

The community health centers that will use the produce for classes, meals, and the Green Food Box program could act as an avenue for distributing and covering some cost for the garden.

Within a ten-block radius, there are three vocational high schools with culinary and hospitality programs. Fostered relationships with these schools could have the students using the garden produce in their kitchens.

The community garden could apply to the Trees Canada Edible Trees Grant—available every February—to access funds to pay for fruiting trees and bushes. All Things Food and the Agape Centre have been successful securing funding for their three fruit tree projects in the past.

A community investment idea that has already been proposed by the Social Development Council of Cornwall and Area involves commercial and residential development companies being required to reinvest 1-2% of the building value back into a community foundation, which would be used to fund projects like this garden.

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Figure 8: Detail CCH site map

2.4.5 Resource sharing

The participants felt strongly that the hospital should be planning spaces that utilize shade and multiple seating for therapeutic use. Rona home improvement store and local lumberyards have been suggested for construction of seating, a pergola, etc. As a preliminary step, it may be important to observe current public interaction with the existing space to determine how it is being used, the foot traffic on certain paths, how the space is accessed (doors, ramps, cross-walks) and how many dog-walkers use the space.

The City will be widening Marleau Avenue in the near future. This will affect the space on the north side of the proposed community garden, but will also mean new waterworks construction, which could make it easier to bring water to the garden. Since water siting and access are critical to the success of the community garden, it will be important to find out what the City plans to do with water mains during the widening of Marleau Avenue and ask for purpose-built installation water access.

2.4.6 Responsible Staff

Whether staff will be responsible for maintenance is still undetermined and needs to be decided by hospital management.

2.5 Moving Forward

The visioning session in Cornwall was attended by an incredibly motivated and engaged selection of community partners, with a wide diversity of experience in designing and implementing community gardens. While the hospital team decided that—with new hospital construction underway—the timing was not appropriate for their participation, the groundwork has been laid for a future date, when the potential for project success may be greater.

 

 

Appendix 1: Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry Community Garden Network

In attendance:

Affiliation, Role Garden Project Name and Location Objectives and Key Activities (N) Gardeners
Corrie D’Alessio – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EdAVJW4Kd8
Seaway Valley Community Health Centre, Cornwall

Volunteer Coordinator and Community Health Worker

– Hamilton Cres. Community Housing Garden, Cornwall

– Lemay St. Community Housing Garden, Cornwall

– provide 12×12 garden plot or raise bed to social housing residents

– free vegetable plants are provided to residents

– bi-weekly children’s activities and garden workshops offered by CGN partners

50 available garden spaces/boxes

~40 gardeners, with 6 appointed garden leaders

~60 associated children

Lee Theodore – https://www.facebook.com/Mustard-Seed-Community-Garden-674039896068934/?fref=ts
Community facilitator

Caribbean by Cornwall, catering

– Mustard Seed Community Garden and urban Farm

(in planning stages)

– 1.2acre garden project planned empty green space at Knox St. Paul Church located in north end of Cornwall

Non-plot, collective garden model for mixed production

– gardeners/farmers to keep 1/3, donate 1/3, and sell 1/3 as a social enterprise

– 7 gardeners involved to date

 

 

Affiliation, Role Garden Project Name and Location Objectives and Key Activities (N) Gardeners
Brenda Norman – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PcpUQxrxuA

http://www.kozroots.com/kozroots-community-empowerment-projects/

Kozroots Community Empowerment Projects, Chair

Kozroots Farm, garlic farmer in Monkland, North Stormont

– Green Thumbs Project, Monkland

– Grow A Row and Be the Boss high school farm / garden

– Free garlic planning/harvesting workshops for other community gardens and at events

– provide garden plots on farm to community groups for pay-it-forward initiatives

– disadvantaged youth are brought to farm to plant garlic and vegetables as part of the Grow a Row program, produce is donated to local food bank (Agape Centre, Cornwall)

170 students have visited the farm to date

~20 other youth (not associated with a high school trip) have visited farm for volunteer experience

Julie Walker
Kozroots Community Empowerment Projects, Garden program facilitator

Monkland, North Stormont

– Green Thumbs Project, Monkland

– Grow A Row and Be the Boss high school farm and garden

-Monkland Community Centre Garden

– Supports garden and farm initiatives by Kozroots Community Empowerment Projects.

– leader of Monkland Community Centre Community Garden

Same as above

10 gardeners at Monkland Community Garden

Kathleen Rawnsley – http://goo.gl/KwBSc8     |   http://goo.gl/KBKkru
Transition Cornwall + Food Action Group, Interim Chair From Seeds to Gardens (Seedy Sunday event) (2nd)

Incredible Edible Plant Festival, Cornwall (4th), includes 3 community gardens at city hall, downtown fire station and police station

– Seed vendors, seed swap, free vegetable plant give-aways, film events, and workshops to promote gardening in the city

– downtown community gardens are open to anyone to harvest from, increase accessibility of fresh produce, maintained by TC+ and firemen

– 400+ participants for each annual event

– ½ are children and youth

– engage 50+ volunteers for festival

Affiliation, Role Garden Project Name and Location Objectives and Key Activities (N) Gardeners
Kendra Smith – http://www.standard-freeholder.com/2016/06/07/garden-fever-at-agape-centre
Agape Centre Food Bank and Soup Kitchen, Community Relations Weeding Out Hunger Garden, Cornwall
Edible Fruit Forest,
– community garden at food bank and soup kitchen building, managed by summer student and volunteers; food used in kitchen / for children’s summer camp program

– Tree Canada Edible tree Grant enabled the planting of 40+ trees and bushes off site which will be harvested for the food bank in years to come

– 10 volunteer gardeners

-25 summer camp children

Clement Gwanyama
Canadian Mental Health Association Echo Gardens, Cornwall

– managed in partnership with Centre De Santé Communautaire De L’Estrie

– 26 plot based gardens near in municipal park space aimed at providing space for those living in apartments or long-term care residences

– $15 fee to cover general maintenance costs

– 26 gardens
Kat Rendek – Listserve: growsdgc(at)gmail.com
All Things Food

Transition Cornwall +, Steering Comm. Members

Kozroots Community Empowerment Projects, Officer

n/a Lends support to all garden projects and events

Coordinates Community Garden Network communication

Event volunteer Coordinator

n/a

 

Affiliation, Role Garden Project Name and Location Objectives and Key Activities (N) Gardeners
Kim Cameron
Seaway Valley Community Health Centre, Volunteer Gardener and children’s program coordinator *same as “Corrie D’Allessio” *same as “Corrie D’Alessio”

-coordinates garden art program for children

Estimated 60 children
Rachelle Doth
Glengarry Inter Agency Group – Early Years Centre,

Children’s programs

Hamilton Cres., Cornwall

Incredible Edible Plant Festival

Offer educational yet fun children’s garden programs at social housing garden and for select events 200+ children annually
Alain D’Aoust – https://cog.ca/ottawa/growing-up-organic/
Canadian Organic Growers Growing Up Organic, SDG Coordinator School garden programs (17) in Cornwall / SDG

Coordinates Boys and Girls Club afterschool gardens

-offer curriculum-based experiential learning for youth using gardens and farm visits

-promote organic food production mechanisms

500+ children engaged
Sandy Casselman – http://www.linkinghandsdundas.ca/
Linking Hands Dundas County Giving Garden and Garden Guides Program

Located at House of Lazarus Mission Community Garden, South Mountain, Dundas Co.

– community garden at the side of the food bank building, managed by staff

– food is provided to clients (260 families—390 adults and 260 children) and volunteers

– garden is also used for summer “Lunch and Learn” Workshop program

30 +1 staffed

~30 monthly workshop participants

Affiliation, Role Garden Project Name and Location Objectives and Key Activities (N) Gardeners
Susan and John Towndrow      
Founders of Transition Cornwall +

Susan – retired landscape architect and horticulturalist

John – retired conservation manager and planner with Parks Canada

Support Transition Cornwall + Incredible Edible Plant Festival

Advisors for Mustard Seed Community Garden

– inspire and promote community development and resiliency

– strengthen food skills and innovation in the City of Cornwall

n/a
Ivan Labelle
Centre De Santé Communautaire De L’Estrie, Community Health Worker Echo Gardens, Cornwall

– managed in partnership with Canadian Mental Health Association

– 26 plot based gardens near in municipal park space aimed at providing space for those living in apartments or long-term care residences

– $15 fee to cover general maintenance costs

26 gardens
Alex de Wit
Social Development Council of Cornwall and Area, Director

All Things Food, Chair

Many of the above Offers financial and administrative/ insurance support for new garden projects (start-up) n/a
Lesley Johansen – http://www.morrisburgleader.ca/news/2015/05/20/gardening-for-groceries/
Gardening for Groceries, founder Giving Garden and

Garden Guides Program

-support food bank garden initiatives

-started Gardening for Groceries in South Dundas in 2015 to help provide fresh food for two local food banks

~30 gardeners and 1 staffed garden coordinator
Affiliation, Role Garden Project Name and Location Objectives and Key Activities (N) Gardeners
Karen Carriere
Transition Cornwall + Retired horticulturist and perennial farm business owner Seedy Sunday and Incredible Edible Plant Festival

Downtown Cornwall community gardens (City hall, fire station and police station)

-grows and donates over 300 vegetable plants for festival

-provides all seedlings for downtown community garden

-offers workshops and homestead tours of her farm/gardens

Supports 400+ gardeners through events annually
Carolyn Manenger – https://www.facebook.com/augustusgardens/     http://augustusgardens.ca/
Augusta Gardens, Urban farmer in Cornwall Augusta Gardens, Urban farmer in Cornwall Establishing large urban farm in North Cornwall; facilitate group workshops, community farming. Family operation
Mallory and Andrew Hagen – https://www.facebook.com/Mustard-Seed-Community-Garden-674039896068934/?fref=ts
Horticulturalists and co-founders of Mustard Seed Garden Mustard Seed Community Garden and urban Farm

(in planning stages)

1.2acre garden project planned empty green space at Knox St. Paul Church located in north end of Cornwall

Non-plot, collective garden model for mixed production

Gardeners / farmers to keep 1/3, donate 1/3, and sell 1/3 as a social enterprise

– 7 gardeners involved to date
Affiliation, Role Garden Project Name and Location Objectives and Key Activities (N) Gardeners
Juliette Labossiere
Centre De Santé Communautaire De L’Estrie, Community Health Worker Summer camp coordinator in Crysler, North Stormont -Meet the needs of francophone population

-provide educational and bilingual summer programming for North Stormont Community

15-20 children per week throughout the summer
Loretta Landmesser
Co-Founder of Friends of King George Park, Maxville

All Things Food (ATF) Website and Social Media Coordinator

King George Park, Community Garden and Edible landscaping (under development)

Key leader and supporter of CGN through ATF

– create shared and multi-use community garden space in the new King George Park in Maxville

-plant fruit trees and berries to support future harvesting

– promote other garden initiatives in region and abroad

n/a