Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Enabling Gardening: Discussing Accessibility in our Community Gardens

To Join ACGA Click Here
Join us for: Enabling Gardening: Discussing Accessibility in our Community Gardens

January 23, 2009

12:00 pm Eastern
11:00 am Central
10:00 am Mountain
9:00 am Pacific

Host: ACGA's Social Justice Committee - Shannon Crossman, Dana Kamin and Robert Vine

Community gardens are hailed as open and inclusive spaces and as garden leaders and gardeners we spend much of our time inviting and welcoming new members while making many efforts to help them feel 'at home'. An important and often overlooked aspect of this is the ways that gardens can be inaccessible to people with disabilities. From issues surrounding design and the physical structures of a garden to the tools used and programs offered, there are a number of low-cost and simple ideas that can remove unnecessary obstacles and increase accessibility, making community gardens more inclusive environments. Three speakers from Toronto, Canada will contribute their ideas to this important discussion by presenting their own programs and personal experiences on the topic. Please join us for this interactive teleconference with your own experiences, ideas and questions.

Dana Kamin - Dana is a Toronto resident who has participated in community gardening at The Stop Community Food Centre, as well as organizing a community gardening group in a non-profit housing building. Dana has facilitated workshops on Enabling Gardening, or more simply on how to garden with a disability, and how not to create a disability from the not-so-simple act of gardening! Having a disability that affects her joints, muscles and fatigue level, Dana will share from first hand experience some of the many creative and often relatively inexpensive ways to ensure that back and knee problems, arthritis, joint pain, tendonitis, heart disease and other common health challenges don't become a barrier to participation in your gardening programs.

Shannon Crossman - Shannon has worked as an artist at Bloorview Kids Rehab in various integrated programs of the Centre for the Arts for 14 years, such as ARTery, Art Kitchen, Spiral Garden and is Program Coordinator of the Creative Arts March Break Respite Camp. She is a co-author/designer/illustrator of The Spiral Garden Resource Book. A focal point of her work is cultural & ecological sustainability. She has presented at various conferences and is the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Medal, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council in the Community & Artist in Education grants. This summer she was Artist in Residence at Evergreen Brickwork's Children's Garden. She currently is also doing work with Green Thumbs Growing Kids.

Robert Vine - Robert has wandered the Spiral Garden, an integrated art/garden/play program since 1987. Throughout those years of tending and pretending, he has had the opportunity to help and be helped by people of all ages, skills and abilities. With the Spiral Garden community he, his puppets, and his clown have prepared the soil, planted seedlings and seeds, designed raised and ground level beds, adapted garden tools, watered, investigated who's eating the garden, harvested the abundance of food and seeds for the next season. All the while being aware of connectivity, creativity, and celebration.Spiral Garden is an integrated outdoor art, garden and play program that has been integral to Bloorview Kids Rehab since 1984. This innovative program, staffed by artists, brings together children ages 6 to 12 with and without disabilities from the community and Bloorview.

Register today by emailing your name, ACGA membership number, organization, city, and short description of your garden/program to share with other participants:, or call toll-free (877) 275-2242. Those who register will receive a reply email from ACGA with the telephone number and access code you will need to use to enter the call. Conference calls typically last 60-90 minutes and involve a portion of time for questions and answers from the guest speaker and the audience. All Teleconferences are recorded and are available for download from the ACGA website. Click Here to access previous workshops.

No comments: