City of Brampton announces first citywide Backyard Garden Program in Canada in response to COVID-19

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The City of Brampton has launched the Backyard Garden Program, a new eco-friendly initiative to help support food security in the city, and encourage residents to get active at home during the COVID-19 emergency.

The City of Brampton is the first municipality in Canada to launch a citywide initiative to support residents in growing their own gardens in response to COVID-19.

“Supporting our residents and community groups during this pandemic is our main priority. Our Social Support Task Force is working hard to provide the necessary food supports to Brampton’s vulnerable communities and empowering residents to join in this cause and grow fresh produce in their backyards,” said Mayor Patrick Brown. “With the support of Brampton residents, we aim to launch 1,000 new backyard gardens through this program. Together, we can help alleviate the pressure on our food banks, while staying active and fostering community pride.”

The new Brampton Backyard Garden Program is chaired by City Councillor Doug Whillans, Wards 2 and 6, in partnership with the City’s Parks Maintenance and Forestry division, and will include community partners as required.

With physical distancing measures in effect, this program encourages residents to grow produce and herbs from the comfort of their own homes, and donate their homegrown crops to local food banks and community organizations. In order to ensure food is equally distributed to those in need, a request form will made available for food banks and organizations to complete.

This initiative supports the Mayor’s Social Support Task Force’s focus on food security and reaffirms Brampton’s priority of being a sustainable Green City.

“Our Community Gardens program has been very successful, and although we may not be able to operate community gardens in the same way due to physical distancing measures in place, it is only fitting that we bring the program to residents directly,” said Doug Whillans, City Councillor Wards 2 & 6. “This program encourages all residents to get into gardening, enjoy the outdoors while isolating, and give back to the community to our seniors and those in need.”

The new Backyard Garden Program, through which residents can continue to stay active and green, is an extension of the existing Community Gardens program.

Residents can request free supplies (soil and seeds) by emailing BramptonGreenCity@brampton.ca. We will also share tutorials and tips on how to maintain gardens on our website at http://www.brampton.ca/parks.

With the 50th anniversary of Earth Day just around the corner (Wednesday, April 22), this is the perfect opportunity for residents to contribute to urban agriculture, give back to the community, and help Brampton become a more healthy, resilient, and environmentally sustainable city.

“The City of Brampton is well known as the Flower City,” said CAO David Barrick. “During this challenging time, city staff are committed to implementing a Backyard Garden Program to support residents remaining active while they stay at home, developing Brampton as a Green City which is a key Term of Council priority, and contributing to food security in Brampton.”

For the latest updates on what the City of Brampton is doing during the COVID-19 situation, visit www.brampton.ca/COVID19.

 

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