Martensville has had a community garden for numerous years, which is located east of the outdoor basketball court in Kinsmen Park. This 12-plot area has provided a gardening option for local residents and has proven to be a popular addition to the community, with many people asking to be added on the waiting list each year.
Because of this demand in the community, local resident Darnell Kuzek decided that he wanted to create another option for residents, and thus, he began planning a community garden area by the Kart Racing Track, located on 9th Street North in Martensville. Kuzek has been working on this project with the City of Martensville for approximately two years. This year, the project will come to fruition.
“I was inspired by the “need” and being the President of the Martensville Kart Club for two years, I figured I could make it happen. There is a lot of extra land at the race track area and I thought it would be a great use of the land. Everyone at the Kart Club is very supportive of this project and think it will be a great addition in Martensville,” Kuzek said. “I would like to make it known that the Saskatoon Kart Racers are entirely responsible for this project proceeding. The approval is pending by their membership, which has been put to a membership vote this week and, we will have final results Saturday morning. Construction will then officially begin upon approval. I look forward to sharing the news on the weekend.”
Kuzek would like to contact residents that have been on the waiting list for the Kinsmen Park Community Garden and allow them the opportunity to get a plot first. “I know there is a demand for this in the community; I just didn’t realize how much of a demand there was.”
Last week, Kuzek sent the budget for his plan to the City of Martensville, and this week, it was confirmed that the project would be going ahead to open to the public this year. Kuzek has already ordered the lumber, and prep work on the site took place this past weekend. The current plan will include 12 plots, with room for further expansion. The layout that Kuzek has planned will include raised gardens that will have fresh topsoil in them with mulch walkways. “I really want this area to be eye-appealing when people walk in.”
This year, Kuzek has been working alongside Ted Schaeffer, City of Martensville Director of Recreation & Community Services to ensure that safety precautions are set in place amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with guidelines set in place by the province.
The City of Saskatoon announced on April 28th, that they will also be opening their community gardens, with additional protocols put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Protocols that have been put in place include safe physical distancing measures, hand washing procedures and regular tool sanitization. In a news release, the City of Saskatoon stated that all protocols have been reviewed by the Ministry of Health, the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s Public Health Inspector and the City’s Emergency Management Organization personnel to ensure that the program meets all current safety and public gathering guidelines. They plan to begin planting in mid-May.
Ted Schaeffer noted that the City has been in communications with the province and there are no issues with opening the community gardens, provided the proper safety precautions are met, which could include avoiding having a shared water source, preventing the sharing of equipment, physical distancing measures, etc. “We want to ensure that we avoid any potential method of transporting the virus, so we will make sure that we have all of the details planned out in advance and shared with the public,” Schaeffer said.