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.