United Church Organizes Garden Tour, Raises Money to Help End World Hunger

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Mary Hutchinson shows off part of her fairy garden that was on display in the Care of Creation Garden Tour.

Residents of Drayton Valley and Brazeau County area recently strolled amongst fairies and English-style flowerbeds to raise money for the fight against global hunger.

As part of an event organized by the Drayton Valley United Church, thirteen gardens were on display in the Care of Creation Garden Tour, with part of the proceeds being donated to Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

Dianne Nikiforuk, organizer of the event, says they wanted to raise money for an organization that aligns with The United Church of Canada’s values.

“It’s that effort to contribute to a more just society, both locally and globally, that is a value of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the United Church,” she says. “It’s fundamental to our Christian faith.”

But for the Albertan oil community where farms are few and far between, deciding which kind of event to hold for the Foodgrains Bank, an organization with deep farming roots, posed a bit of a challenge.

“We have a lot more oil fields than we do farms,” laughs Nikiforuk. “But we do have gardens, and wonderful ones too.”

And with that, the Care of Creation Garden Tour emerged.

The tour cost $15 per person, and a map with each garden was given to participants. After that, they were free to roam the gardens as they pleased.

For Nikiforuk, the garden tour is a way to celebrate Drayton Valley and Brazeau County’s garden community, while also raising money for the Foodgrains Bank through ticket sales.

She says they received a lot of good feedback from the tour participants, and she hopes to make the tour an annual event.

“We made it very clear that this was not a contest,” she explains. “We wanted the gardeners to be comfortable sharing their creations, and everyone was really pleased.”

The gardens in the tour included an old-style English garden, a fairy garden and a classic vegetable garden.

– Shaylyn McMahon, Summer Resource Assistant