Gardening Know How Sponsorship Recipient: Battlefords Family Health Centre Community Garden Project

(Image credit: Battlefords Family Health Centre Community Garden Project)

This year, Gardening Know How's School and Community Garden Sponsorship Program was fortunate enough to help support 20 gardens with $1,000 each. These gardens represent a wide array of community and school programs, from Florida to Saskatchewan and many places in between. Each has its own unique and powerful story, and we're excited to share them with you. Every other week we'll highlight one of our sponsorship recipients to help spread the word about how amazing they really are. This week we're featuring the Battlefords Family Health Centre Community Garden Project.

Located in the middle of Saskatchewan, the city of North Battleford and the town of Battleford (commonly known as the Battlefords) have a higher than average rate of diabetes among their community members. And the Battlefords Family Health Centre Community Garden Project is working tirelessly to combat it.

The Community Garden Project began as a direct answer to the diabetes problem, with several events and educational projects built around meal planning, introduction to new foods, produce preservation, and more. The project has become an integral part of the community, partnering with over a dozen other organizations around the Battlefords and recently receiving 10-year recognition from both the town of Battleford and the city of North Battleford.

Garden side - Medicine Wheel Teachings with Elder Jenny Spyglass

As it converts run-down lots into green spaces, the garden project has increased its size to over 60 plots, and volunteer engagement (especially among young people) is on the rise, with kids from four different summer literacy programs pitching in. With increased youth engagement, the garden is gearing itself even more toward education, particularly focusing on local heritage by incorporating Cree language in its signage, using the three sisters planting method, starting a Project of Heart Garden to honor residential school survivors, and inviting guest speakers to teach hands-on arts such as rock painting, basket making, and arrow heads.

The Battlefords Family Health Centre Community Garden Project is a vital part of its community: a hub of both nutritional and cultural learning, as well as a great gathering place for anyone who wants get their hands in the dirt. With the grant from Gardening Know How, they can keep expanding in size and outreach opportunities. We're proud to be able to help them realize their dream.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.