You may have heard some rumblings about us in the news in the past week.
On Tuesday Council approved the use of BiHi Park as the headquarters for Common Roots.
We’re going to share details about the site and answer some of the questions you may have in this email, but we want to start by inviting you to discuss the news in person at a gathering this Sunday.
What: Public engagement session
When: March 10, from 3-5pm
Where: Calvin Presbyterian Church, 3311 Ashburn Ave.
The news about BiHi Park comes after an 11-month-long exploration of Halifax greenspace on both public and private lands, and countless meetings with landowners and all levels of government. Part of what we learned from that search is that we were so lucky to use the land we were on for the last seven years—there is truly nothing else like it.
After all our efforts, BiHi stood out as the place where we looked around, took a deep breath and thought: we can see a piece of the farm here.
BiHi is where we will put down the roots to grow the future we’re envisioning for Common Roots—a future that is far beyond what we could ever fit on this site or at any one location in Halifax.
For the last seven years, Common Roots has been a sunny two-acre site next to the hospital in the middle of the Halifax peninsula. Countless hands and hearts shaped that land, and the land shaped us too. Many of you have expressed feeling the loss of that place, and you’re not alone. In the face of all this change, we stand grounded in the fact that we’re part of an important movement.
We’re part of a movement to connect people to their food, to the earth, to each other.
That is what has driven us from the start, it is what has kept us going through this long season of change, and it is what will drive everything that comes next.
In order to work towards the big, bold future we envision for Common Roots, we need a headquarters. Somewhere to call home. That’s what BiHi represents: a place to get grounded. We’re playing the long game, and it’s going to take time.
This season will be a pared-down version of the farm and our programs and offerings. There won’t be as many community garden plots. We’re still sorting out how things will work with the market garden, our Deep Roots program, and so much more.
In addition to the site, we’ve also asked for help relocating additional garden plots to other community garden locations. We’re still working out details on what all aspects of this will look like.
We still have everything we’ve learned along the way.
We’re heading into this next phase of transition both tired from what’s behind us, and energized for what’s ahead. We are knee-deep in logistics, and our vision is crystal clear. Most of all, we continue to be overwhelmed by the love, trust and support of this community during our season of evolution, adaptation and change.
Onwards in love and resilience,
The Common Roots and Urban Farms Transition Team
A little bit more about our new location…
BiHi is located at the bottom of Bayer’s Road. It is easily accessible from the peninsula, especially the north and west ends of Halifax. It is accessible for our community in Fairview, too. You can get there on a bus.
One of the most exciting things about it is who our new neighbours will be. BiHi is right across the street from the Bayers Road Centre, which houses our new partner organization, MetroWorks, along with ISANS, the YMCA Centre for Immigrant Programs, CEED, and other organizations we’ve worked with in the past. The potential for partnership and opportunity has been making us buzz.
We’re going to share more with you about MetroWorks soon, but for now we’ll just say that we’re feeling very lucky to have joined forces with an organization known for making amazing things happen in the worlds of social enterprise, employability and food secutiry.