Equal Ground Community Gardens will be putting on the first Earth Day Community Building Festival at the Earl Haig community garden in Brantford on Saturday, April 22, 2023.
The free community building event will run from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will feature over 70 vendors including food trucks, clubs, organizations, teams, public figures and businesses, as well as performances.
“It’s a great opportunity for Brantford and County of Brant residents to come down and explore what’s happening in their city, make connections, explore volunteer opportunities and look into resources that the City has available,” said Taylor Edwards, Equal Garden’s Greenhouse and Learning Centre Coordinator.
While a large part of the event is to help build the community, it’s also designed for networking between vendors.
“The biggest thing that I’ve heard in my job is that the non-profit organizations, they’ve had a really hard time rebounding with volunteers, including Equal Ground, so many of us lost a lot of momentum with the pandemic, so we want to be able to help facilitate getting people moving again,” she said. “This event will give the participants an opportunity to network amongst one another and again, make those community connections and see how they can get involved with each other.”
The event was initially intended to be the grand opening of the Earl Haig garden’s community greenhouse, however since plans have changed and the greenhouse will live at the upcoming Woodman Park community garden, the event has now taken a new form with a focus on community and sustainability.
“We thought these would be great themes for the festival, so all the participants that are there will be promoting sustainability in their own way, whatever that looks like to them within their team, organization or business,” said Edwards. “They may not necessarily be a sustainably focused businesses, but they’re going to talk about the importance of community and they’re going to talk about how they are trying to be more sustainable and the importance of knowing where you’re purchasing your items from and where that business is sourcing from.”
The term “sustainability” is often used in a broad sense and can be daunting for many people who don’t know where to start, but the event is intended to get people thinking and learning about different ways they can make sustainable choices outside of the typical glass straws and reusable water bottles.
“Equal grounds believes that strong communities are sustainable, and we want to be able to give residents an opportunity to visually see the different aspects of sustainability,” said Edwards. “We hope it will allow them to reflect, go home and think about how they can start to adopt some practices for themselves even if that just means starting to be mindful about where their new items are sourced from.”
Equal Ground Community Gardens works in partnership with the City of Brantford and has 13 community gardens located at park sites, and over 30 gardens – both privately or publicly owned – between the County and City.