GEG Wins 2016 Mayor’s Award

Each year, the Mayor of Guelph presents Mayor’s Awards to honour Guelph’s difference makers – people who make our city a better place through volunteer service. 2016 marks the 20th year of the Mayor’s Awards.

On June 23, 2016, Mayor Guthrie presented Mayor’s Awards to five outstanding community volunteers at the Guelph Chamber of Commerce’s annual Awards of Excellence gala and the Guelph Enabling Garden’s own Founder Trevor Barton was on the winners.


From the Mayor:

“Trevor Barton is the driving force behind one of our city’s great gems – the Guelph Enabling Garden.

In 1999, Trevor first conceived of an accessible garden designed for everyone: children, the elderly, families, and especially for those with varying degrees of physical and cognitive abilities. His vision was for everyone to be able to experience the joy of gardening. He gathered a team, developed a plan that was unanimously approved by Council, and the garden was constructed at Riverside Park.

Today, the Enabling Garden welcomes more than 10,000 visitors a year, with over 50 groups registered for its services. The Garden hosts the Guelph Storyteller’s Guild, the Master Gardeners, and an on-staff horticultural therapist who provides free programming to members. With its sensory gardens, accessible raised garden beds, and brick path, the Enabling Garden is a thriving and inclusive space where people of all abilities can connect with their community, learn new skills, and ultimately grow something truly unique.

Trevor continues to work tirelessly to ensure the Garden’s continued success: fostering relationships, working with volunteers and staff, developing programming, seeking out grants, and fundraising – not to mention planting and weeding!

Many people in Guelph credit the Enabling Garden for helping improve their physical, emotional, cognitive, or mental health. It is a place where everyone is welcome, and everyone belongs. In the words of his nominator, “Without Trevor, this garden would not exist. He is the soil in the garden metaphor – the foundation for successful growth.”

You can read more about the award and the other recipients here.

Tea ‘n’ Tales Summer 2016 Schedule

The Guelph Enabling Garden is pleased to again host the Guelph Guild of Storytellers for their 6th season of “Tea n’ Tales” at the Garden in Riverside Park on Friday mornings at 10:30 starting July 1st. Bring a lawn chair and a reusable mug for tea or lemonade to enjoy these wonderful storytellers. Free admission, but donations are welcome.

July 1: James Gordon
July 8: Adwoa Badoe
July 15: Brad Woods and Michael Dougherty
July 22: Doug Larson
July 29: Donna McCaw
Aug 5: Brenda Lewis
Aug 12: Jan Sherman
Aug 19: Jay Wilson and Ann Estill
Aug 29: Elizabeth Matson

In addition, Guild stalwarts Sya VanGeest, Brian Holstein and Beve Matson will drop-in as storytellers and MCs.

Annual Plant Sale

It’s time again for our annual Spring Plant Sale! We’ll have a large variety of plants available and knowledgable gardeners on hand to answer any questions you may have. All proceeds will be going right back into the running of the garden.

WHEN: Saturday May 28th
TIME: 9am – 2pm
WHERE: at the Guelph Water Works – 29 Waterworks Place, Guelph (off of York Road)

Plant Donations Welcome! If you have any plants you’d like to donate from your garden, please pot them up label with type and colour (popsicle sticks work well) and drop them off at 29 Waterworks Place on Friday, May 27 between 6:30 and ­ 7:30 p.m. ­ If you need your plants picked up, please call Wendy at 519­-831-­5419

Lesley Fleming: “HT Programs that Excite, Excel and Engage”

On June 18th 2015, the Guelph Enabling Garden was pleased and honoured to host Lesley Fleming, a world-renouned Horticultural Therapist. In a full day session, bringing together professionals from across the therapy spectrum, Lesley shared her invaluable experiences with hort-therapy in a global context. It was wonderful to see that horticultural therapy is a growing field and that it is being implemented all across the world in truly engaging and creative ways. When the focus is so heavily on the local, as it is with the Guelph Enabling Garden, it is a nice reminder that there are other communities across Canada, across the planet, who are also working to better their communities and find new, holistic ways to better the community and the individual.

Below is the summary article of her presentation, also available as downloadable PDF.

Continue reading Lesley Fleming: “HT Programs that Excite, Excel and Engage”