Youth group supports community garden with creative signs

FERGUS – Despite being buried in snow right now, the new community garden beside the Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex is taking shape with most of the plots already spoken for, according to Daisy Moore, one of the organizers.

But when the snow melts in the spring, among the first things to be planted will be signs in each of the garden plots.

And those signs were made by youth in the Sparrow program offered at the Elora Centre for the Arts.

Moore made a presentation to the youth about the garden and then they set to work.

About 20 youth in the program have created signs featuring the plot number and their own choice of designs and colours.

Many feature butterflies and flowers, and each is unique.

Stephanie Lines-Toohill leads the group and is actively searching for community groups the Sparrow group can support through art projects.

A close-up view of the signs. Photo by Joanne Shuttleworth


The program is funded in part by the Centre Wellington Community Foundation, Centre Wellington’s 100 Men Who Care and the Minarovich Arts Fund.

“Art is a powerful tool for social action,” Lines-Toohill said. “Voices are amplified through art.

“We try to collaborate with other community groups and when Daisy told me about needing signs, we thought, yes.”

In a similar vein, Lines-Toohill said the Sparrows made a food bank monster for Elora’s Monster March and collected food along the march route.

“People would feed the monster with their donations,” she said. “It was quite a bit of fun.”

Most of the youth in the program were well acquainted with gardening and could immediately see how their signs will be helpful.

Some envision vines growing up the sign posts.

At their session at the art centre on Nov. 17, Harper Fedy said she grew lots of vegetables in her garden this summer, and Ida Bolger said her grandparents have a huge garden at their home.

“It’s amazing how much they can grow,” Bolger said, adding her grandparents live in a northern climate with a shorter growing season than here.

The group is now contemplating planting their own pizza garden – not the pepperoni but potentially other pizza toppings – and really enjoying the fruits of their labour.