Cultivating Vibrant & Resilient Communities, One Garden at a Time
Cultivating Vibrant & Resilient Communities, One
Garden at a Time
The PCGN is a collaboration between four main partner organizations:
This unique concept allows us to use our time, energy and resources
efficiently, share expertise, reduce duplication, and strengthen our ability to
offer programs and support a wider range of community members
Each partner has a representative on our management committee. They collectively
define the direction of the organization, oversee fundraising strategies & core staff
The PCGN has collaborated with the City of Peterborough to create and enact the
Community Garden Policy and to establish community gardens on municipal
Vision Statement: “Building Resilient & Vibrant Communities One Garden at
Statements of Purpose: “To foster community
gardens through education, advocacy, and
networking to increase access to local sustainable
We envision community gardens as a key tool for food
security, ecological integrity and community building
• Advocate for, promote and support the development of new and existing
community gardens throughout the County and City of Peterborough.
• To be a central hub and contact point for community gardens and gardeners.
• To develop and provide educational opportunities & resources
• To facilitate, build partnerships and connections.
City of Peterborough Community Garden Policy History:
- In response to a growing number of requests for community gardens on City
owned or controlled land and the PCGN’s ever growing waiting list for existing
community gardens, City’s Corporate Policy Coordinator assembled a working
group (Public Works, Planning, Recreation, Legal, Housing, and Social Services)
to draft Community Gardens Policy.
April 7, 2009:
- Working group hosted a community gardens consultation, with community
gardeners; Peterborough County-City Health Unit; Trent University; Fleming
College; GreenUP; YWCA; Local Food Advocates; and the PCGN to determine
an inventory existing community garden operations, benefits of community gardens, local
demand, potential locations, and what role the City, and the PCGN should play, as well as
looking at what other partners could get involved.
February 18, 2010:
Draft policy was presented to the Community Garden Network, as a final
opportunity to provide feedback to the working group.
March 16, 2010:
- Draft policy was presented to the Arenas Parks and Recreation Advisory
Committee (APRAC) through Report APRAC10-012. As requested in the
report, APRAC provided input regarding the draft policy. APRAC is
supportive of this policy being approved by Council, prior to the start of the
2010 gardening season.
City of Peterborough Community Gardens Policy
POLICY: COMMUNITY GARDENS
Policy Type: Department: Division: Section/Facility:
Municipal Services Community Services Recreation
Effective Date: 2010-04-12 Approval Level: Council
Policy #: 0023 Revision #: N/A
1.1 The City of Peterborough values and supports sustainable community gardens because they
contribute to: economical, nutritious, and local food production; an appropriate use of open
space; health and well-being; fitness and recreation; positive social interaction; strong
neighbourhoods; environmental education; and increased self-reliance.
1.2 This policy provides direction to establish and operate community gardens on City-owned or
2.1 This policy and related procedures applies to the City and to individuals and groups who
establish, operate, administer, oversee, approve, or conduct community gardening activities on
City owned or managed land.
2.2 Community Services Department develops and approves the necessary City procedures to
implement this policy, in consultation with other City Departments.
2.3 This policy only applies to community gardening and does not apply to other forms of urban
agriculture such as the breeding and raising of livestock and poultry.
Community Garden - A site that is operated by an individual or group, on a non-profit
basis, for one or more of the following purposes:
1. production of produce for:
- personal use;
- donation to local food causes; or
- generating revenue to reinvest in the Community Garden.
2. production of a floral or landscape display; or
3. demonstration gardening or other related instructional programming.
4.0 POLICY STATEMENT(S)
4.1 The City shall demonstrate its support for community gardens by:
.1 Promoting community garden initiatives and participating as a stakeholder with
.2 Encouraging the use of community gardens for related instructional programming
and to support local food production.
.3 Assisting new community gardens with start-up activities, as determined by the
City's selection process and subject to available funding.
.4 Incorporating community gardens in municipal land use planning of new
development areas and established parkland.
.5 Compiling and maintaining an inventory of potential sites for community gardens.
4.2 Community gardens are to be operated in a safe and fair manner in a way
enhances neighbourhoods, therefore the City requires:
.1 That neighbours be consulted through a public process before a new community
garden is established.
.2 Fair, equitable, and transparent processes for the operation of community gardens.
.3 A Licence Agreement.
.4 That each Operator establish and comply with a Terms of Reference.
.5 That each Operator maintain and enforce Plot Holder Agreements and Liability
Waivers, which shall be signed by Plot Holders and Operators.
.6 That the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act are
met by the Operator.
Roles & Responsibilities:
City of Peterborough
- Provides land for community garden
- Assess long-term use of land/ any conflicts in future
- Prepares land & provides compost
- Accepts applications & accompanying paperwork
- Provides insurance for the property
Peterborough Community Garden Network
- Acts as liaison between community gardeners and City staff – main point of
contact for community
- Provides support in creation of community garden group and garden planning
- Supports garden group in writing Garden Application, Gardener
Agreements, liability waivers, and all other associated paperwork identified in
Section 4.1 of the Policy.
- Facilitate community consultation and insures that all residents receive
How does the City support Community Gardens?
- Staff support to create a list of potential sites for community gardens throughout
the City & County.
- PCGN presents proposed sites to City through a Community Garden Application,
the City sends proposal out to various departments to ensure that the land is not
slated to be used for development or other projects in the coming years.
- Invites community members, and participate Community Consultation.
- Once approval process has been completed, the City will prepare the site (plough),
and add in City compost.
- They City supports community gardens financially through the City of
Peterborough Community Project Grant program (gardens can apply for up to
$1000 for tools, trellising, signage, sheds, ect)
Policy in Action:
- Since it’s inaction in 2010, the Policy has been utilized to establish two new
community gardens ( Cameron St., Stewart St.). This has created 40 new community
garden plots within the City.
- The City of Peterborough has continued to support existing gardens through the
donations of compost, and funding through the City of Peterborough Community
Cameron St. Community Garden
Established Spring 2012
In City park, adjacent to community housing.
Established 20 new garden plots for community members.
Group grows collaboratively for themselves, and distributes food informally
through the neighbourhood & through communities food bank as well.
Stewart St. Community Garden
- Established in 2013
- 14 plots for community members.
- City of Peterborough provided land &
prepared the soil, cleaned up trees & park.
- Very successful first season, partnerships
built with local church, Canadian Tire,
Horticultural society, sign-makers & fire dept.
Challenges: The Story of the Bonaccord Community Garden
Established on City property prior to establishment of City Community Garden
Coordinator had been paying for many things out of his own pocket.
Expanded in 2012/13 to include 20 new plots.
City has provided donations of compost, and removed brush to help the garden
get cleaned up and create space for new plots.
Neighbour has provided water, along with creative rain barrel systems. Water
metering & expanded number of plots increases pressure on existing water
- Water! The municipality does not provide water, water taps or financial support in
getting water systems installed with the establishment of new, or in support of
existing community gardens on municipal property.
- Recent additions of water meters have added to water challenges (neighbours
- Funding – Although $10,000 was allocated in the 2009 budget line when the
Community Garden Policy was originally passed, the funds have since be
removed, and are now set at $0.
- Reliance on support of PCGN to deliver programming, but no accompanying
- Informal supports and collaborations have emerged – connections to local Fire
Department, informal support from City workers (water main improvements)
- Strength in collaborations
Official City Plan – In many consultations, Peterborough residents identified a clear
desire to implement more space for community gardens & urban age.
c) Promote community gardens by:
i. Allocate accessibile space for community gardens.
ii. Market and build awareness of the benefits of community gardens
iii. Allowing city lands to be used for community gardens. For example - consider how
parks planning could allocate a portion of public parks for urban agriculture purposes.
This could avoid permitting community gardens which are leading to opposition.