2017_Milky Way Garden_Community Visioning Workshops
The Milky Way Garden Site Planning process has commenced with three Community Visioning Workshops aimed at developing a community led vision for the future use of this site.

Workshop # 1 - Tibetan Gardeners
Workshop # 2 - Seedy Saturday (17/03/04)
Workshop # 3 - Public Visioning Workshop @ Parkdale Public Library (17/03/13)

Report Back from Workshop # 1
By- Monique Kelemen (Greenest City)

"The Milky Way Community Consultations have begun!

We began our exploration of community needs and desires for an urban agriculture space at 87 Milky Way by speaking to the current sole users of the space, Tish's adult ESL class. The 7000 sq ft green space in Parkdale has been stewarded by the class and Greenest City for nearly a decade, but until recently this was a temporary agreement with the private owners of the land. The PNLT will soon purchase this land, to secure a dedicated urban ag space for Parkdale. Naturally, we're committed to including the class in the visioning process and determining what their special role in the space will be moving forward.

On February 23rd, we visited the class to dream up the future of the Milky Way Garden. Since the class is mostly comprised of Tibetan speakers, we came prepared to carry out the consultation in Tibetan; the language most of the students are most comfortable with. The main message that the organizers wanted to communicate is that the class is the most important stakeholder in this process as they know this land better than anyone else. Also, they have the capability to be leaders in this project moving forward. The class also had a message for us; they want to share their knowledge with, and grow more food for, the community.

In the classroom, we focused on two main activities; small breakout groups to talk about needs and dreams, and site planning. From the report backs and site plan drawings, there were a few ideas that stood out. Many ESL students expressed the desire to grow in new ways in order to grow more food. Others expressed the desire to grow flowers in order to both make the space more welcoming, but also as a potential source of revenue. There were practical desires such as more seating and gathering space, as well as a constant source of water. Perhaps one of the most extravagant ideas was a three-story glass building made of of a floor for a seed library and urban ag resource cetnre, a retail store, and a cafe.

Generally, the students continue to see themselves as the main caretakers of the Milky Way garden in the future. They enjoy taking care of the garden and have a desire to teach others what they know, as well as make their organic, fresh food more available to others."
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