Summer of Sustainability Garden Tour Proposal

For those of you in Hastings-Sunrise, note the Community Small Grants deadline is tomorrow! So if you were planning on getting something in, today is the day to drop those at the Hastings Community Center.

We got ours in last night – on our way back from buying a pond off Craigslist which necessitated driving to PoCo in the rain – fifteen minutes before the community center closed, and then we ran down to Kiwassa and shoved two applications for the Neighbourhood Small Grants program underneath the door.

Although I have no idea about whether or not we’ll get the grant, I have a good feeling based on the successful Boulevards Alive! project we had funded last year. This is almost a spin-off project and I think it would have a lot of resonance in our neighbourhood. Because I am so excited about it – I am posting the project description here. So far, I’ve had five households indicate they would want to put their yard on display for such an endeavour and I haven’t done much more than emailing a few folks…. So I think we might be onto something:

Project: Summer of Sustainability Garden Tour


  • Neighbourhood networking
  • Promoting local food and sustainable gardening practices
  • Inspiring more gardens
  • Inspiring food gardening and in particular winter food gardening
  • Promoting pollinator-friendly planting
  • Supporting local business (West Coast Seeds, local garden centers)
  • Promoting Boulevards Alive! and other boulevard planting initiatives
  • Demonstrating alternatives to lawn.

Project Description

The Summer of Sustainability Garden Tour would take place in July and seek to involve 15-20 Hastings-Sunrise households in opening up their backyards for an afternoon to showcase their food/medicine-producing gardens, bees, chickens, alternative energy projects and anything else that fits in with local sustainability goals.

Participating households would sign up before June 1st to allow the project to map out a walking and cycling route through the neighbourhood. Each household would be given $25 to provide some light refreshment (juice, cookies or squares etc.) to garden tourists and be expected to have someone available in demonstration yard for the duration of the event (11-4) to talk about local sustainability and show off their gardens. Participating gardeners will also have maps on hand to give out the day of the tour.

Garden tourists would be able to sign-up for the garden event via Facebook and the website. A few days prior to the tour, those signed-up participants would receive a cycling/walking map of the tour by email. We would also ask a few local businesses and the community center to hand out copies of the map on request in the days leading up to the tour and would promote those map pick-up locations on the website and elsewhere in our promotional material.

Three different 1.5 hour workshops would be given throughout the day at a participating households with a focus on:

  • Getting started with beekeeping
  • Getting started with chickens
  • Gardening year-round in the city

In addition to the workshops and refreshments, garden tourists would also be able to pick up seeds from each of the participating gardens (each household would have different seeds to give-away). These would include:

  • Winter gardening veggies (many of which are started in July and August)
  • Pollinator attracting flower blends (that would go in the fall or spring garden)

Project promotion would start in June and include:

  • A website with information about the project
  • A Facebook event
  • An email to local garden centres asking them to promote the tour
  • A poster that would be distributed to local businesses
  • An attempt to attract a story from the Courier or The Straight about the garden tour featuring one of the households


  • Refreshments – $500
  • Photocopying/Printing – $150
  • Website/Domain registration costs – $50
  • Workshop honoraria – $300
  • Winter Gardening Seeds for giveaway – $200

Total: $1200

5 Comments on “Summer of Sustainability Garden Tour Proposal

  1. Brilliant! Would love to participate in something like this! Not sure if you’ve thought of scheduling the workshops yet, but it’d be nice to have them at different times so people could go to two or three of them. I know I’d be interested in the winter gardening AND the chickens…

  2. Hey Lisa – That’s the way I’m planning the workshops – there will be one of each at different times of the day (say 11, 1 and 3) so that people can plan to attend all three and make a day of it while looking at other gardens and having snacks in between)…..

  3. I want to thank you from all garden enthousiast in our garden community and our entire community for the fantastic work you and Brian do to keep this group going and yeah for the grant.

  4. Pingback: Bragging rights | Red Cedar

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