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The Review

Thornbury Community Gardens Thriving amidst Vandalism

Posted On: Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Thornbury Community Gardens have been a welcome addition to our community this year. Our committee and gardeners have received many positive comments about how great they look and how nice it is to be able to wander through them.  

Thornbury Community Gardens Thriving amidst Vandalism

This season there are 20 plot renters tending to their own plots, 4 plots designated for growing for the food bank and the community, and a perimeter garden that has been planted with pollinator friendly and edible perennial plants.  The BVO summer camp is tending to 2 plots, a home day care has a plot, and several community members have rented plots to grow for both themselves and the food bank.  Every Thursday a volunteer collects donations from the gardeners and delivers them to the Meaford food bank and so far we have donated a lot of fresh, local, organic produce.   

 We decided not to fence the gardens in their first year in hopes that it would invite the community into the conversation around growing local, organic food and to give people a chance to enjoy some public garden space.  While the vegetables belong to each gardener and we ask the public not to touch or harvest the food, we are happy to share the joy of watching things grow with our community.  Of course, the vast majority of people who come through the gardens are respectful and do no harm.  Unfortunately, we have had some incidents of vandalism by the minority.  We have arrived at the gardens early morning to find the shed damaged; vegetables smashed on the ground, the basketball courts and in neighbours backyards; and plants damaged.  With the help of social media, we had some people come forward with apologies and offers to help restore the gardens which they vandalized. They are now helping out at the gardens and they have been forgiven.  Not all of the vandals have come forward and they are continuing to damage the gardens, mostly on weekends and at night.

 We have taken measures to prevent future incidents by installing security cameras, motion sensored lighting, and signage.  We are also considering fencing if necessary.  We ask you, our community, to help us protect this space by calling local police at 1-888-310-1122if you see or hear anyone disturbing the peace or vandalizing the gardens.  

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