Community Stories

Red Deer’s Common Ground Garden

November 18, 2021

Red Deer’s Common Ground Garden is a new urban farming project that increases food security, encourages social enterprise, shares knowledge and creates social connection. Its four-acre public space offers inclusion, sustainability and fellowship.

The garden serves as a safe, vibrant and accessible space that everyone in the community can access, and foods that are grown benefit local food banks. The project offers regular volunteer opportunities and educational workshops, and its natural environment supports mental and physical well-being.

A local solution for food insecurity

The Common Ground Garden grew from a conversation among concerned citizens that families in Red Deer were going hungry because of the pandemic. These partners identified that improving access to fresh, local produce and building awareness of how to grow organically in an urban environment was a means to both alleviate and prevent food insecurity in Red Deer.

In researching other urban agriculture projects that had a similar scope of practice, it was resolved that such projects do have a positive effect on both food security and building community connections both of which help build resiliency.

Sustainable living in Red Deer

Backed by ReThink Red Deer, the project is a volunteer-led collaboration that builds upon ReThink Red Deer’s decade of success in community building through urban agriculture and sustainable living.

The City of Red Deer provided space in the Capstone district and is actively supporting the project with compost, water and expertise.

Members of Common Ground come from diverse backgrounds, including the following:

  • The local community
  • People involved in urban agriculture and gardening
  • Representatives from the Central Alberta Poverty Reduction Alliance
  • Community organizations, some of whom also benefit from this project
  • Cultural groups
  • Local businesses

Common Ground Garden future plans map

Growing over time

The Common Ground Garden is a multiphase project that, over time, will consist of a number of interactive, accessible garden spaces.

Garden A was created in the project’s first year and grew fruits and vegetables that were shared with local community organizations such as the Food Bank and Mustard Seed. Planning for year two is already underway.

About the Red Deer Common Ground Garden

Vision: A four-season urban garden that is open to everyone
Mission: Fostering sustainable food security, connecting to the land, sharing seeds of knowledge, and growing an inclusive community.
Mantra: We value Community – Growth – Connection