View our mobile site

Unique community garden flourishing in Riel Park

Flowering Footprints a success and still growing

By: Scott Hayes

  |  Posted: Saturday, May 10, 2014 06:00 am

TAKING ROOT – Adrienne Beaulac, left, works with Yvonne Kerz at the Flowering Footprints community garden in Riel Park. The project helps people with disabilities develop work skills while gaining experience in horticulture.
TAKING ROOT – Adrienne Beaulac, left, works with Yvonne Kerz at the Flowering Footprints community garden in Riel Park. The project helps people with disabilities develop work skills while gaining experience in horticulture.
APRIL BARTLETT/St. Albert Gazette

Comments    |   

Print    |   

A A


Flowering Footprints

The garden is located at 7 Riel Dr. People can contact Adrienne Beaulac and the other gardeners for more details at floweringfootprints@gmail.com.

There are some strong roots showing on a still-new community garden in Riel Park.

The Flowering Footprints Gardening Society started last year as a way of helping people with developmental disabilities to gain work experience and life skills. The group produced some stellar yields of practically everything from asparagus to zucchini, and they're still growing and expanding in more ways than one.

Co-ordinator Adrienne Beaulac said last year was a bona-fide success.

“[The crops] all turned out really well. I think it has a lot to do with the location. All of the radiant heat in that area helped to grow all our corn. For some reason, we didn't have any problems with pests either down there.”

The group has been offered space to work on a section of the land in The Rock Garden, near the Sir Winston Churchill Avenue/Gresham Boulevard intersection of Riel Drive. There, an extensive garden plot and greenhouse has been constructed to help the effort.

While location has been a key component of the project's viability, there has been no shortage of assistance shown to the workers by the community at large. Besides The Rock Garden itself, several other businesses have donated plants and gardening equipment to ensure that things blossom and bear fruit just as they should.

“Maybe we just had beginners' luck,” Beaulac laughed. “I know it will work again.”

The non-profit organization works to help its clients find meaningful employment or volunteer positions throughout the community. Sometimes, like in the case of this garden, they create the opportunity themselves.

The garden's vision is to promote “the concept of therapeutic gardening to grow in the hearts and minds of the community,” according to its website at www.floweringfootprints.com.

Beaulac said they hope to expand on their crops by continuing to have more than a dozen varieties of tomatoes, along with the eggplants, peas, strawberries, cucumbers, leeks, celery, Swiss chard, and many others. All of the vegetables are organic as well.

“It's a really good experience. It's just exciting to see a tiny dot of a seed grow.”


Comments


NOTE: To post a comment in the new commenting system you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, OpenID. You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The St. Albert Gazette welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to delete comments deemed inappropriate. We reserve the right to close the comments thread for stories that are deemed especially sensitive. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher.

All comments are moderated, and if approved could take up to 48 hours to appear on the website.

blog comments powered by Disqus