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Union of British Columbia Municipalities

Seniors in Bloom Program Barriere BC

Workshop Guide

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Union of British Columbia lities Municipa

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Union of British Columbia ties Municipali

Co-Sponsored with The District Of Barriere

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Union of British Columbia Municipali ties

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5 JUNE 1 oon 9am - N

Various event posters & materials.


of Sept ember 13/14th

All Eve nt FREE s O CHAR F GE

The Co mm provided unity Garde n is loc through th ated dir by the the Se District ect of Barrie niors in Bloom ly behind the Barriere re project by the Union Public Librar of BC Minicipa y. The fundin g is litiess and spo ponso nsorred ed

Your Funding and The Impact It Had In the North Thompson We wish to express our sincere gratitude for your support in helping to create what we hope will be a lasting legacy in the heart of Barriere. The following pages contain a few of the highlights, and a brief overview of what your funding helped us achieve in our community garden this spring and summer and the ripples that happened as a result. - A picture says a thousand words……….

Where to Begin?? “Once upon a time”…… there was a small rural community who had suffered the stressors of the Mountain Pine Beetle impact, the McLure Wildfire, a struggling cattle industry, aging demographics and a small group that wanted to recreate a community garden that had very nearly been forgotten. This little town was just in the process of creating a local government and the little group had the honour of being the first piece of “non-housekeeping” business for the new District of Barriere. The creation of the new District gave the group the ability to be sponsored for funding from UBCM to build a new garden shed, shaded seating area and programming for the summer. What follows is the realization of our dream……….

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR…………… We were just a little group and the funding was not only a wonderful opportunity but also a huge challenge. This summer was a “learning to walk the path as you create it.” With any dream, there must be those who are willing to roll up their sleeves and actually get the job done, there must be those who actually have the skills …….we were very fortunate to have dedicated champions and a very special couple shone brightly. Learning about what we have in our own community, what works best and what doesn’t work at all Learning that people support that which they help create - Learning that you have to make mistakes to grow - Learning that most everyone is happy to support something that they perceive as a benefit to the community - Lastly Learning that we are not alone and when we work together we can help to create a healthier, more connected and self-reliant community. After, the gruelling first stages of learning about proposal writing, came the hundreds of hours of backbreaking work of building the infrastructure.

Then We began the programming with an afternoon learning the basics of planting a simple container. The participants all took home their own creations and we were off to a positive start.

Rewarding, first and foremost, a source of fresh veggies. An opportunity for social “intercourse”. At the outset I couldn’t see the sense of growing anything other than veggies. I have since discovered the beauty of it and that is very hard to describe. (flowers) I’m amazed at the enthusiasm of the members and what we have accomplished.

Comments from Eric Douglas, Community Garden Member

Next, came our official “Kick Off” event that focused on the importance of trees. We were fortunate that the weather was beautiful. Many members of the community came out to share this event. We had dignitaries, including the heads of our two Regional Community Forests, our Mayor, and a Councillor from Simpcw First Nation attend and speak. We had music, locally baked goodies, fresh fruit. We were honoured to have our local Thompson Valley Players “fruit & veggies” arrive to start the festivities by marching along the newly created pathway from the local seniors residence. The community witnessed the planting of the first tree to dedicate our “spring garden” made possible by funding raised and donated by our local youth at the nearby Elementary School. We had a local nursery person demonstrate the basics of how to plant a tree, and we were fortunate to have a an employee of Forrex give a lecture to those interested. He came from Prince George and brought a generous donation of trees from the University of Prince George. Over a hundred people attended and overall, the event was considered a great success.


What the Community Garden means to me? A place to garden, to try out new and different plants for our local climate both to look at and to eat! A place to meet other gardeners and exchange ideas, learning new techniques from them, and they, hopefully, will learn some in return from us. A place where new gardeners can get advice, learn new skills, get encouragement and find companionship. A place where people unfortunate not to have their own garden, can grow healthy and fresh food and flowers at a low cost. Last but not least, the Community Garden is situated right in the heart of Barriere, where many people meet or walk through every day, whether gardeners or not. There is always also lots of good talk and much laughter.


Comments from Bodil Leamy, Community Garden Member

Organic Gardening: “Leave It to the Birds and the Bees� We learned that active engagement is a great way to learn. The highlight was when we went beyond the talking and discovered what lessons we could actually learn from our community garden. We discovered potato beetle and several other both beneficial and harmful insects.

Colour Throughout the Seasons This event demonstrated that we have a wealth of knowledge in our own backyard. Our own local gardening guru, a former curator at the Botanical Gardens at UBC presented from her wealth of knowledge, using part of our garden to demonstrate some basic design concepts. Our portable “tents� were invaluable to shade the participants on this very hot afternoon. As the coordinator, I learned to check your list twice - I arrived to discover that I had not printed off one of the essential sheets required for the afternoon. A quick trip to the drugstore solved the problem but underlined the imperfection of us all.

Coffee in the Garden Simply a time to gather and socialize, to slow down and just enjoy the company of our community members. This evening was highlighted by freshly baked pie with locally sourced ingredients. Music, strolling, chatting, and just slowing down to enjoy was the object of the event. The fresh pie did entice more of the “menfolk� to attend. We had a good attendance from further up our valley. The shower that fell later in the evening did not dampen the spirits of those who attended.

Herbs This event once again highlighted the wealth of knowledgeable and talented community members we have. One of our local Municipal Counsillors, Virginia Smith, presented. Again, there was a hands on component to this event where we made a salve. This afternoon was very well attended and proved to be one of the most popular events of the summer’s programming.

Xeriscaping Once again, we had a local community member who is a horticulturalist come and share a timely topic which gave suggestions and helped us understand that we are able to work with nature. By using common sense we can save time, energy and water, and achieve beauty in our landscaping. And once again, we had a hands on segment at the end of the workshop that gave the participants the opportunity to take home their own creations.

The North Thompson Fall Fair In a small community, we all wear many different hats. Our Fall Fair is a highlighted event every year in the valley. At the last moment they discovered that anticipated funding for a “Go Green” component to the Fair did not materialize. We were approached to see if we could fill the gap. Although it stretched our capacity, we were able to help not only the Fall Fair but ourselves. Our presence at the Fair helped to promote the work that we are doing in the garden, and it complemented the work being done to educate the community regarding subjects such as composting, gleaning, and recycling. The ability to see ourselves as “part of”, the flexibility of the funding, and our enthusiastic volunteers enabled us to not only help our community in an unplanned way, it has also opened the door for a permanent relationship with the Fall Fair.

Thank you very much for allowing us to be a part of the celebration in Barriere. The heart of the Gleaners was the heart of your Friendly Free Workshops, the bees, the sunflowers, the organic worm composting and the blue bag recycling. It made us aware of refreshing our environment. Thanks again. ~ Menno Unger, president Okanagan Gleaners

The Harvest Festival MON DAY, SEPT EMB ER 22 , 2008

This day was the “Grand Finale� of a summer of learning. We chose the “100 Mile Diet� theme to highlight the wealth of resources that we have locally, local talent, local food, local people. We invited crafters and food producers to attend. We interspersed presentations with live music. We learned about what we can do at home and we were also informed about the successes of other communities.



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Sunshine, fresh bannock, corn, local sausage, local pie, lively conversation, and yes, this day was a wonderful example of what can be done by working together.




As I indicated when I gave my talk at the Harvest Festival, I believe the Barriere Community Garden project is a huge success. You did an SER VING THE exceptional job coordinating the project. The strength of the project is NOR TH T HOM PSO N VA a reflection of the work you did to ensure involvement and participation LLEY FRO MH EFFL EY C by many special interest groups – the Barriere community developed a feeling REE K TO BLU E RIV ER of ownership & stewardship. I hope the funding and support continues as the Barriere Community Garden is an inclusive project, enjoyed by young and old.

~ Joanne Baskerville, presenter




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Seniors Coffee in the Garden Our garden proved to be an enjoyable venue for some of our less mobile, more physically challenged community members. The three morning events provided a change of scenery, an opportunity to visit with others, to enjoy the live music provided by two local guitarists, and to take home flowers from the garden. This was an opportunity to connect with others, to share their knowledge, experiences and memories. We learned that weather plays an important role. One day was overcast and had rained earlier in the morning this led to the decision of several not to attend. The Seniors Pioneer Residence staff were very cooperative and supportive, as was the support staff for the Elders from Simpcw First Nation.


Barriere Community Garden