During their regular meeting on November 12, Russell Township Council voted on which route to take regarding a community garden, which has been on the Township’s business plan for some years now. The Township was looking for direction on how to proceed with the garden, because several privately managed community garden projects have cropped up since the business plan was created.
The first option was to have a large community garden on municipal land near the Recreation Complex, and to coordinate with the existing community gardens managed by Fiat Farms and the Russell library to have one large, networked garden. The garden would allow residents to donate their time in exchange for fresh produce, and it would also serve as a learning space for kids in the springtime.
The second option was to have an allotment garden near the Recreation Complex, which would allow residents to rent a plot in the garden for a single growing season.
The third option was to cancel the community garden plan, because although there were no community gardens in the township when it was added to the business plan, two such gardens have cropped up since then.
The fourth option was to keep available the space for a community garden near the Recreation Complex but defer the decision to create the garden until the Russell Library garden project has been confirmed.
Councillor Mike Tarnowski moved to accept option four, and discussion generally agreed with this move. Installing the garden would require drainage, parking, accessibility, and much more work than simply “snapping our fingers and making it happen”, said mayor Pierre Leroux, but outright cancelling the project would be unpopular with residents. Deferring the decision would give the township time to formulate plans for everything the garden would require.
Although Tarnowski was in favor of option two, Saucier and Councillor André Brisson voted in favor of option four, so the motion was carried.