Calling all gardeners! Even if you don't have a backyard, you'll still be able to plant your own stuff this year. Community gardens in Ontario are going to be allowed to open because the provincial government is amending an emergency order. The spots are being called an "essential source of fresh food."
The provincial government announced on April 25 that changes are coming in Ontario as it relates to some community activities.
An amendment to an emergency order will allow community gardens across the province to open up for people to plant, grow and harvest fruits and vegetables.
According to the government, these spots are an "essential source of fresh food" for people across the province.
The change is meant to help ensure that people have food security during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With their opening now allowed, local medical officers of health will give advice, recommendations and instructions that gardens have to meet in order to operate.
That would include ensuring physical distancing and cleaning commonly used equipment and surfaces.
Depending on where you are in the province, getting a plot of land in a community garden could be free or cost a small fee.
Regardless of if you have to pay or not, they're spaces for anyone to go and grow their own food.
"It's wonderful to see a community voice getting recognized and government pivoting towards that understanding that we all have in the food security sector," Moe Garahan, co-chair of Sustain Ontario's Community Growing Network and executive director of Just Food Ottawa, told the CBC.
She called it a wonderful decision and noted that these spots help build community resilience.
Also, Toronto city councillor Joe Cressy tweeted about the amendment and said that rules are quickly being finalized to ensure that the gardens can open and feed communities.
An emergency order announced by Ontario on March 30 about the closure of shared outdoor recreation amenities included outdoor community gardens.
Sustain Ontario posted an open letter to the government a day after that to ask for the spots to be deemed essential and it has since gotten more than 7,300 signatures.
While community gardens will open up, provincial parks and conservation reserves will stay closed until May 31.