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Mayor and Preschoolers Plant Garden for Good Cause
(Halifax, June 17, 2010) - The Mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality is about to get down and dirty - and it’s all in a good cause.
Friday morning at 11 o’clock, Peter Kelly and some little friends will plant a vegetable garden outside City Hall in the Grand Parade. They plan to donate the crop to the Parker Street Food Bank this fall.
The garden is a joint summer project between the Mayor and 24 pre-schoolers from nearby St. Joseph’s Children Centre.
“It’ll be a lot of work,” the Mayor admitted, “but I enjoy gardening and just don’t have time to do any at home these days.”
He said he was inspired by HRM’s Community-Gardens initiative and decided to take a leadership role.
Mr. Kelly anticipates this will be “a learning garden” for the youngsters, one that will give them an interest in growing things during their regular trips to the Grand Parade.
Shannon McLean, director of the children’s centre, welcomed the Mayor’s invitation to assist him.
“We’re extremely excited to be part of this project,” she said.
Mr. Kelly and the children will plant a variety of vegetables including tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, green peppers and green beans in the rectangular plot. When the crop is ready, they will send it to the Parker Street Food Bank.
“It’s a win-win situation,” said Mr. Kelly. “We all get some exercise and the satisfaction of gardening, and deserving people get some fresh food.”
Mel Boutilier, executive director of the Parker Street Food Bank, expressed gratitude to the mayor.
“It’s wonderful that a man of his responsibilities has the passion to help people that are in need of fresh produce,” Mr. Boutilier said. “Fresh produce is difficult for us to find and, when we do, we get excited!”
If the garden is a success, Mayor Kelly and the youngsters may add a cash crop next year, to help balance the HRM budget!
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