Objective C10: Support Education, Engagement and Local Food Production
The following actions are needed to complete this objective:
Actively promote the use of underutilized, vacant City of Windsor property for the use of community gardens.
Encourage Windsor’s farmers markets.
Develop and promote the local food system through education, including programs for kids.
Explore the potential for an urban bee cooperative or a chicken cooperative on municipal property.
Promote the health benefits of drinking water over sugar-sweetened beverages for hydration.
Promote the use of Essex Windsor Solid Waste Authority’s compost.
These indicators show the progress the City is making to achieve this objective:
- Number of community gardens
Community Gardens Indicator
For many years, community partners in Windsor and Essex County have been working collaboratively to address food security issues. One of the outcomes of this work has been the start up and expansion of several community gardens in Windsor.
A community garden generally occurs when a group of people uses land for the growing of fruits, vegetables or flowers collectively for non-commercial purposes. The land may have both individual plots for individual produce consumption, as well as community plots where produce is donated to the community through food banks. Community gardens can occur on publically or privately owned lands and are usually managed collectively by a not-for-profit group or organization.
Community gardens growing vegetables and native flowering plants promote biodiversity and limit the use of pesticides and manufactured fertilizer, thereby providing access to a source of healthy, fresh food for the community. They also foster community spirit and can turn a vacant piece of property or part of a City park into a thriving neighbourhood gathering place.
How are we doing?
The above figure indicates that the number of community gardens in Windsor has increased.
What is the City of Windsor doing to encourage community gardens?
In 2020, Windsor City Council approved the update to the Community Gardens on Municipal Property Policy
, originally approved in 2014. The policy provides clear processes and procedures for developing community gardens on municipal property. Through this initiative, a list of parks that have potential for community gardens has been selected. To learn more about the community garden policy and procedures, please visit our Community Gardens
In 2012, Windsor City Council approved a Food Security Initiative in the form of a Community Garden Expansion Strategy, with a maximum of $100,000 in one-time funding towards either the development of new community gardens or the expansion of existing community gardens. This initiative was branded "Seed & Feed" and provided grant funding to eligible applicants whose proposals demonstrated that their community garden would provide fresh produce to people who may otherwise go without it. As a result of this program, ten community gardens were given funding to either begin or expand their operations.
There are currently six community gardens operating on vacant City of Windsor property, as well as in City of Windsor parks.
For more information on Environmental Initiatives
Phone: For general inquiries, call 311. For detailed inquiries, call 519-253-7111 ext. 3226.