GROWING AND CONNECTING
As happens often around St. Stephen’s these days, last Wednesday evening was a beehive of activity. The meditation group was quietly praying up a storm in the sanctuary; the “I Love You” kickboxing class gave way to the Tillicum Al Anon group who gathered to share their personal stories down in the Memorial Hall; the young people from the community chess club was deep in cogitation in the Creation Space; and in the Canterbury Room it was standing room only as members of the neighbourhood vied for a patch of this year’s Community Garden.
The Garden, outside the doors to the Memorial Hall, was the result of conversations last year with Carmen Marques, the City’s community social worker assigned to our area. (It was also Carmen who facilitated the chess group.) Evenstart, the pre-school children’s support agency, had left us, which meant that the small area allotted for their outdoor playground was left fallow. A community garden would meet a number of local needs, providing yet another connection between us and our neighbours.
Then Ian Newman—a member of St. Stephen’s who is active in our local community—stepped forward and offered to build the planter boxes. One weekend he arrived with lumber and a few willing workers and—presto!—there was our first community garden. To which he then added a community library box. This year we are doubling the size of the garden to include the patch on the other side of the walkway. Our outreach is growing!