Twin Views Communal Garden – Depave Project
The Twin Views Communal Garden is a project initiated by the Dover Community to re-purpose neglected tennis courts and provide an innovative, sustainable gardening space for the community and adjacent neighbourhoods.
This project began about two years ago with a view to establish a community hub using permaculture principals and organic practices to re-purpose this neglected space into a food forest and a vibrant garden and art space. A dedicated group of volunteers has worked with the City of Calgary, local organizations, community associations and professional consultants to create a well designed, useable gathering space for community engagement. We have used donated funds and volunteers to get to this point, and now are at the stage where we need to remove asphalt in order to proceed with the vision to have a sustainable food forest. We have a plan to remove the asphalt and underlayment in stages, and this is where the Field Law Community Fund Program would be of significant benefit. Once we can remove the asphalt, amend and bring in soil, perennial plants, shrubs and trees; gardeners and visitors will have a welcoming destination that will encourage ongoing engagement.
Despite the sad state of the site currently, we have successfully hosted workshops in water conservation, composting and sustainable planting. We have partnered with neighbourhood groups such as Antyx Community Arts group who created a mural that is a permanent feature in the space. Local schools have used the space as part of their programing to learn horticulture, paint garden furniture and create art. It is clear that there is a need and desire for this type of space within the community and we look forward to continuing in the evolution of this space into a thriving sustainable garden.
Who Will it Benefit?
The entire community benefits by reclaiming a derelict space that was originally designed for physical activity. The garden will become a useful, welcoming area that provides and encourages physical and social activities. The benefits of an active lifestyles are well documented.
Our garden will be open to the public. Whether actively participating in gardening practices or just enjoying the improved space, everyone will benefit from having access to the area. The new shrubs, trees and other vegetation planted where the asphalt is removed creates a habitat for wildlife and a space that connects with nature.
As the food forest evolves, this innovative garden will provide opportunities for people to learn principles of sustainable gardening, environmentally sound garden practices and healthy food principles. A variety of gardening and other activities will take place and be available to any interested individuals. The fresh and healthy food that is grown will be available to anyone.
The design allows for people of all abilities to access the garden and participate in activities. The plan is to encourage all individuals from the diverse make up of the surrounding neighbourhoods to use and enjoy the space. Everyone will benefit from cooperating and sharing learning experiences while working toward the common goal of sustainable gardening. Area schools and community organizations will be able to create gardening projects and art with a view to connect and engage youth with this community space.
There are environmental benefits for this food forest as the design creates areas to maximize solar exposure and enhance the micro climates created. These features ensure there is efficient water consumption and less maintenance required. This design ensures the garden is environmentally friendly and sustainable over the long term.