Crossroads Community Garden
Mayland Heights Community Garden and Nature Playground
Mayland Heights is unique in many ways, unfortunately one of those ways is that it is isolated from neighboring communities. There is no easy pedestrian or bicycle access to other neighborhoods due to the fact that Mayland is bordered by two major highways and by light industrial to the East (Barlow Trail) and South, making Mayland an island unto itself. Mayland residents must rely on parks, playgrounds and green spaces within the community. The existing Mayland green spaces have little in the way of seating areas or landscaping. The parks have not been modernized in many years, and most are grassy areas are without any attraction to encourage use by residents.
Our plan is to establish 10 to 12 raised garden beds, with the possibility of expansion as demand grows. These garden beds could be utilized by various community association groups and individual community members, as well as the 6 schools in the area, to teach our youth about how to grow food. We plan to designate donation garden beds, where volunteers can cultivate vegetables to be donated to the Crossroads Community Church's free monthly community dinners, as well as the Cornerstone Youth Center's nutrition/cooking programs. We would like to add a pathway through the garden area to a Gazebo or other outdoor meeting/seating area with a spectacular view of Calgary’s downtown and the mountains. We imagine the path to be lined with hardy, fruit-bearing trees. To honor the Treaty 7 indigenous groups we also plan for a planting space for traditional herbs and plants used by these peoples. This will allow for great educational opportunities for Mayland Heights students of all ages to learn how plants were used by the indigenous peoples of the Prairies. Further to the beds and pathway, we envision a small natural playground area to be just outside the Crossroads Community Preschool.
There are numerous subsidized housing complexes, apartment buildings and seniors housing apartments in the community, many of which do not have access to green spaces or opportunities for gardening. This project will benefit all, whether it be through a new natural playground, a beautiful green space to gather, or raised beds to grow some fresh vegetables. Gardening and nature is beneficial for young and old, both for exercise and for therapy. We would like to see the current grassed area become an inviting space where outdoor activities like yoga in the park, bird watching, youth sports, wedding pictures, family gatherings, musical and theater performances, and a casual community meeting space, can be encouraged and enjoyed. We feel that this revitalization will help to transform the Crossroads Community Center into a place in the community that encourages families and neighbors to join together. In short, we see this undertaking not just as a revitalization and beautification project, but as a vehicle for building community cooperation, wellness, and pride.