The Langside Learning Garden (LLG) celebrates its official opening Friday, September 6 at 2:30 pm, the culmination of a project that has been in the works since 2017. Since then, there has been a lot of learning and growing to help the space blossom into a community garden. The opening includes drumming, rock painting, and fun activities for all ages. Everyone is welcome to join.
Located at 373 Langside Street, the garden is a collaborative and community-based project led by an interdisciplinary team at UWinnipeg and the Spence Neighbourhood Association (SNA). Using the wisdom of the community, they have transformed a once derelict house and empty lot into a welcoming community space for learning and reflection.
During the summer of 2017, the existing house located at the site, considered beyond repair, was removed to make space for the garden, and community consultations began. Work on the garden began in spring 2019, with a blessing of the land and bonfire taking place in late March 2019.
The LLG is a space that embraces land-based decolonizing and reconciliation efforts. Through continued consultations, the LLG team aims to develop sustainable urban gardening practices that demonstrate principles of food security, local food production, and community building.
The LLG will involve students, from across disciplines, in community engagement and community-based research. The garden will also provide opportunities for active participation in experiential learning, community classrooms, workshops and social activities.
The LLG team includes four UWinnipeg faculty members: Dr. Lee Anne Block (education), Dr. Alan Diduck (environmental studies and sciences), Dr. Judith Harris (urban and inner-city studies), and Dr. Rafael Otfinowski (biology). Representing SNA are Executive Director Jamil Mahmood and Greening Coordinator Olivia Michalczuk. A UWinnipeg graduate, Nik Friesen-Hughes is the project coordinator; and UWinnipeg environmental studies and sciences students Sean Goldstone has been the hard-working and committed research assistants. LLG also has to ambassadors Lara Hunter (SNA) and UWinnipeg student Lisa Stefanson.