The contest that’s part of the 1st Annual Pond & Garden Tour 2013 awards an Aquascape Pondless Waterfall Feature to one regional non profit- a therapeutic retreat for clients and staff. (Still time to apply here.)
We hope to discover those lesser known community building stories in Waterloo Region.
We are not disappointed. These compelling stories won’t make it easy for the judge’s panel.
Here are 4 applicant snapshots in no particular order. The photos were provided by the applicants to show where the Waterfall Feature would be designed and installed.
Beechwood Co-operative Homes, Waterloo
A not for profit 78 Unit complex, Beechwood Co op serves members from a diverse background and income levels. We support single mothers, seniors, persons with disabilities, and families from different social and economic backgrounds.
“Most of the members that come to Beechwood Co-op want to be part of a community and volunteer their time to make our community a better place to live. There are members who have experienced violence, loss of employment, or been struck with a health condition that has changed their life and requires supports. People here seek out community and can develop their skills by volunteering in our community by assisting with landscaping, house keeping duties, flyer delivery, working on committees or by being elected as a Board member.
Members would benefit from this waterfall feature by enhancing the physical landscape of our community green space while providing a special place that can help them meditate or reflect on making personal changes within themselves. Beechwood Co-op would welcome and appreciate a waterfall to create a healing and meeting place for the community.”
DeafBlind Ontario Services, Group Home
“One of our dreams was to create a Sensory Garden at our Old Chicopee home in Kitchener. With some funding from the community and a partnership with Home Depot, we have been able to start working towards this dream. To date, we have built a deck and pergola, wheelchair accessible walkways and added a raised garden to be accessible to those in wheelchairs.
Research has shown that multi-sensory environments offer a wealth of benefits ranging from improved participant/caregiver relationships to a reduction in tension and enhanced self-esteem and independence. The effect of a sensory garden can be both relaxing and stimulating.
Sensory Gardens include fragrant flower gardens, herb gardens and vegetable gardens to appeal to the senses of taste, touch and smell,. The deck and pergola provide shade and also include benches for seating. Sensory Gardens provide sensory and tactile stimulants and benefits for our clients that they may not normally experience including the harvesting of herbs and vegetables for meal preparations. It offers an enhanced opportunity for development, learning and education outcomes.
The addition of a water feature for sound and play over hand would supplement the purpose of this Sensory Garden and bring many tangible benefits to the people we support.”
“Kingsway Drive is a pathway of cement. It is traveled by foot, bike, scooter and car by seniors the neighborhood residences, immigrants from the local high rise apartment, residences from the houses behind us etc. Three years ago, we removed our lawn and designed a garden with large stones for people to stop and take a rest. Originally we had a fountain in the garden which was damaged. When the fountain was working, it drew a number of birds and small wild animals. A new fountain would draw them back, creating a little wild life refuge within our city.
Unity Kitchener is the first church in our denomination to be awarded an Earthcare Certification. We are committed to our environment. We have designed a garden which features indigenous and drought resistant plants and are committed to its growth and its maintenance. One of our core values is “beauty” and we strive to create that quality outside of our building as well as within.
Our front gardens have been the inspiration for others to turn their lawns into eco-friendly, drought resistance beds of beauty. A water feature would add to the ambiance of rest and peacefulness, counteracting the noise of Highway 8. It would be enjoyed by so many people, animals and birds in the area.”
The Family Centre
“The Family Centre is a facility for families in the Waterloo Region. It includes counselling rooms, multi-purpose rooms, a community kitchen, a gymnasium, training facilities, and a family visiting centre. We are a venue for programs and services geared towards supporting and building strengths in children and families.
Services and programming is provided by our in-house partners:
Family and Children’s Services, KidsAbility, The Alliance for Children and Youth, Waterloo Region District School Board, World Wide Opportunities for Women, Bereaved Families of Ontario, Hummingbird Centre for Hope, Muslim Social Services, KidSport KW, and Canadian Red Cross.
Our clientele is a vibrant mix of people from our community. Each family would benefit immensely from having a beautiful, relaxing, and tranquil place to sit and relax in the sun/shade, enjoying the sound and beauty of a waterfall. We are currently struggling with paying to create this social venture café to support our youth, and won’t have money to beautify the area. A waterfall in this space would help to make it the community-building place we want to create. We simply cannot describe the impact this would make for our community.
Like I said, not easy to choose just one, is it? There is still time for non-profits to apply, the deadline is midnight August 31, 2013.
There are more stories to share, and I will in the days to come, promise!