ACGAS Accessible Garden Shed
In order to make gardening affordable and accessible to all, ACGAS (Acadia Community Garden and Art Society) provides all gardening equipment, tools, hoses, etc. This equipment is currently stored in a small shed which is not accessible to people using wheelchairs or with mobility issues.
ACGAS plans to expand the garden and its community outreach by increasing access for seniors, persons with disabilities, and low-income households and by developing a Food Box program for local families in low-income housing and newcomers to Canada.
ACGAS has recently received Federal Government funding to build 10 standing beds for seniors and two wheelchair-accessible beds which will be installed in the Spring of 2022. The current shed is not accessible to individuals with mobility issues. We are requesting funding from Field Law to purchase a new, bigger shed and to build a ramp to ensure access for all gardeners regardless of mobility.
Acadia Community Garden and Art Society (ACGAS) is run by a strong group of approximately 50 members and volunteers.
ACGAS was created to provide residents with a place to practice their gardening in Calgary’s neighborhood of Acadia. We offer affordable garden space rental, community events, arts festivals, picnics, and a connection to like-minded individuals in the area.
Currently, in our ninth year of operation (established in April 2013), ACGAS is dedicated to contributing to the standard of living for the people in our neighborhood.
ACGAS creates an inclusive and safe place for community members and visitors to the area and provides access to free and affordable produce.
The programs, services, and/or initiatives ACGAS provides includes,
- 37 raised garden beds that are available for rent at a low cost to local residents
- 3 community garden beds with vegetables and herbs are available for the general public to pick for free
- 2 beds that are for donation to food banks
- A U-Pick Food Forest of fruit trees, a strawberry bed, and 2 raspberry patches for the community to pick from for free
- Provide an outdoor learning environment for students from local schools
- Created a welcoming space for community members to enjoy which includes two Calgary Reads Little Library kiosks and two community benches, a bike rack and picnic tables, a pollinator-attracting flower bed, and a native-to-Alberta perennial plant bed
- a self-guided tour of Acadia’s unique gardens, yards, and art installations
Who Will it Benefit?
Acadia is a diverse, moderate to the low-income community including residents living with food security issues, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, newcomers to Canada, visible minorities, and seniors.
The accessible shed will enable access to any community member with mobility issues. By providing space to store the Community Food Boxes, the shed will allow ACGAS to provide fresh produce to low-income people in the community who are unable to visit the garden.
ACGAS supports community collaboration, involving multiple organizations, in addressing social issues in Acadia. These programs are developed and delivered with the support of community members and agencies.
ACGAS is a member of the City of Calgary Community Social Worker's Acadia Networking and Action Group. Through this program, the City's Social Worker and other community leaders work with residents to help them network, organize, advocate and mobilize for sustainable, social change at the neighbourhood level.
ACGAS volunteers plant, maintain and harvest garden beds for the Calgary Food Bank and the Acadia Pantry. In addition to receiving produce from ACGAS, the Acadia Pantry collects fresh produce from Spinz-A-Round and donates leftover produce to the Calgary Dream Centre. ACGAS and the Acadia Food Pantry also partner to source volunteers for pantry distribution days.
A bursary program will be developed with Federal Government funding to remove financial barriers for low-income families who are interested in having their own garden plot but are unable to pay the rental fee.
Acadia has a large Spanish and Filipino population, however, very few people from these backgrounds are involved in the garden. Garden signs and promotional materials will be produced in French, Spanish, and Tagalog to increase awareness and make the garden more welcoming to all community members.