City Beds Working for the Community

The World Health Organization sees urban parks and gardens as a component to health and well-being and are a fundamental component of any well-designed urban space. 1Green spaces are natural intersections, where we come together with intention. No distractions, no screens, simply a place to linger and enjoy the view.

I may be biased, but I think Fernie has some of the most spectacular green spaces,and our community takes full advantage of our parks on a regular basis. When my kids were in soccer, I would sit on the sidelines with other parents and remark that the view of the Lizard Range couldn’t be more magnificent. Until I had a picnic at the boat launch. Or, have you seen the tennis courts with the early evening light?

It is hard to pick a favourite location; they all have such unique characteristics but recently the gardens at City Hall have become my personal favourite. I rarely leave City Hall without people enjoying a stroll through the Miner’s Walk, a purposebuilt place designed to remind us where we started, honouring those hard-working folks that carved out this community of ours.

I see young families often playing hide and seek, their laughter infectious. Mostly though, the beauty of our garden beds at City Hall has people pausing and walking closer to admire them. At first, they are
often surprised to see Swiss chard or broccoli. Then they delight to find more produce mixed within the traditional plants.

The artist of our gardens is Pam McSkimming, and she intentionally creates a waterfall of colour throughout our entire growing season. The gardens are so unusually handsome that people almost always pause as they walk past.

The best part of this beauty that people may not be aware of, is that our City Hall gardens work hard for our community. All summer long when the vegetables mature, they are taken to our local food bank.

While writing this article, I learned a new phrase for gardens that are built for food banks. They are often called giving gardens.

I couldn’t think of a more perfect name for a space that so many people enjoy for so many reasons, it seems perfectly appropriate for a municipal building to have a giving garden. A natural extension of the work we do at City Hall on your behalf. Building and supporting our community is the goal, and I sincerely hope we can be as successful as our giving garden in that endeavour.

1who.int/sustainable-development/cities/healthrisks/ urban-green-space/en/