One initiative being considered by a few members is for Transition Ottawa to adopt a park through the City of Ottawa’s Adopt-a-Park program. The minimum commitment for park 'foster parents' is to clean up the adopted park of litter at least twice a year for two years.
We have a larger vision in mind and are in the process of exploring a range of possibilities and dreaming about what could be!
Imagine a kind of community centre without walls, an outdoor space where people can gather, celebrate, play and have opportunities to learn and engage in a number of Transition activities.
In the centre of the park is the cob oven. This is the hearth and heart of the space. It was built by community members with local materials. Everyone got involved. The kids especially loved playing in the mud! It was a real, hands on learning experience and run as a reskilling workshop. Now, during the warmer months, bread making workshops are held every week. The oven is also used for regular 100 mile potluck meals, pizza nights and autumn harvest feasts. Surrounding the oven is an expanse of multi-use space that is the staging ground for all kinds of activities. Picnics and potlucks are popular here, as well as knit-ins and crochet clubs. A neighbourhood group runs bicycle repair workshops. Other workshops in the past have included Fermentation 101, In Season- How to Cook with Seasonal Food, The Lost Art of Hand Tools, Straw Bale Basics, Rainwater Harvesting and more. Twice a month, from May to October, gardeners gather for the backyard and community garden produce swap. Got a bumper crop of zucchini but your beans were a flop? Too many tomatoes that you don't know what to do with, but no basil? Bring your excess produce and swap with others! Wander on by anytime and you might catch the neighbourhood storyteller surrounded by a group of enraptured children or a local musical group performing on a summer’s night. Join the Gleaners for their annual crab apple cider pressing. You might also stumble upon a group of people just starting out on their tour of other areas of the park. There is the pollinator garden, the permaculture food forest, edible weeds, the hedgerow, the medicinal garden. There are so many spaces to explore and learn about!
Your Ideas Welcomed
These are just a few ideas of what might be possible for an adopted Transition Ottawa Park. Other ideas are most welcome. Obviously we want to work very closely with the city, following appropriate by-laws, and with the support of community members in the neighbourhood around the park. We are at the very beginning stages of this initiative and slowly feeling our way along, open to what might be and seeing where this takes us. What we will be able to achieve will largely be dependent on the energy put into it by those who want to get involved. By the end of this summer we hope to have found a park, adopted it and organise a small event like a potluck to invite people to, to start sharing in our vision.
Vote for your 'Candidate' Park
The City has provided us with the following list of centrally-located parks available for adoption. A map showing the location and size of the parks can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/28trh69
. If you would like to be involved in this initiative, please join the “Adopt a Park” group and vote on your preferred park(s) for adoption (criteria may include size, location, current state of the park and amount of litter lying around, sun, shade, watershed, soil quality etc...). To vote, please go to the Transition Ottawa page at http://transitionottawa.ning.com/page/vote-for-transition-ottawas?xg_source=activity
We will most likely plan a tour of the top three parks, so we can visit the sites and do a more detailed assessment.
List of Candidate Parks
1) Jack Purcell Park: 320 Jack Purcell Lane 0.88 hectares
2) Brown’s Inlet Park: 65 Craig Street 2.2 hectares
3) Chamberlain Park: 80 Chamberlain 0.88 hectares
4) Dalhousie South Park: 343 Bell Street 0.10 hectares
5) Glebe Memorial Park: 75 Glendale Ave 0.7 hectares
6) Senator Eugene Forsey: 964 Bronson Ave 0.2 hectares
7) Baribeau Park: 200 Baribeau Street, 1.26 Hectares
8) Richelieu Park: 300 Des Peres Blancs Ave, 8.8 Hectares
9) Copp Park: 750 Hillsdale, 7.16 Hectares
10) New Edinburgh Park: 193 Stanley Ave, 3.00 Hectares
11) Fairmont Park: 265 Fairmont Ave, 1.5 Hectares
12) Fisher Park: 250 Holland Ave, 3.8 Hectares
13) Laroche Park: 52 Bayview Road, 2.4 Hectares
14) Reid Park: 40 Reid Ave, 2.0 Hectares