2021 Greener Greenspace Profile
Lakeside Community Garden
Located in Kingston, ON, the previously commercially farmed land has been remediated and is now a naturalized landscape with native species and community gardens that provide space and benefits for humans and wildlife.
Design and Process
The Lakeside Garden is a large community garden that supports a butterfly/pollinator garden, food forest, and medicinal garden in addition to allotment plots for growing flowers, vegetables, fruits and herbs. There are 100 plots, school gardens, a large donation garden and seed-saving plots. The Butterfly Garden attracts the insects essential for pollinating the vegetable crops grown at Lakeside. The Butterfly garden supports flowering plants that provide nectar to butterflies and plants that offer habitat for caterpillars. It also contains a small pond home to fish and frogs. The particular garden is a beautiful centrepiece for Lakeside and provides a site for experiential learning for local school groups and other visitors.
Volunteers grow over 2,000 pounds of produce annually in the Donation Garden. Most of the produce is donated to a local drop-in centre’s free lunch program. Any extra produce is donated to a food centre, local shelters and meal programs. There’s a school garden where elementary students design, grow and care for their garden throughout the year and learn about food security, stewardship, and biodiversity.
Soil remediation has been a priority as this site was previously commercially farmed. Multiple soil amendments (manure, mulch, green crops, compost etc.) have been incorporated ever since the community started tending the property. Organic growing methods are used, such as composting on-site and permaculture planting in the food forest. Plans include capturing rainwater to reduce the use of city water.Community Collaboration
The garden is on federal land but is managed by the City of Kinston and the garden members. Members of the garden are responsible for caring for their plot(s) and volunteering five hours per season to do activities such as tending the butterfly garden, maintaining the compost system and pathways, tending the food forest and coordinating educational events and programming. Each May, the garden hosts an orientation session and tour for new members and volunteers.
A volunteer board of directors governs the site, and multiple partner agencies with on-site projects also help care for the greenspace. The garden has been the site for community events throughout the year and is a community garden that provides opportunities for high school students to volunteer.
For more information, visit the garden's website.
Greener Greenspaces is a recognition program for sites from across Canada that exemplify greener greenspace stewardship. The aim of the program is to showcase examples of ecologically-focused land care as a means to inspire others and to further the movement across Canada.