Garden Accessibility Initiative

Our first year in the garden was a huge success, and we look forward to next spring to start planting again.

We are deeply grateful to the many local businesses and individuals who have generously donated plants and supplies, including:

  • Home Hardware (West side)

  • Brunswick Nurseries

  • Sue M., Kathryn H., Helen M., Lynn C., Michele L.

  • The Keyes family

  • Plus our many wonderful volunteers!

If you have any items including pond plants, mulch and perennials for donation, or are interested in volunteering with maintenance, email us! We also gratefully accept financial donations to help our vision become a reality.

WHY A GARDEN ACCESSIBILITY INITIATIVE?


The Garden Accessibility Initiative aims to redesign the outdoor spaces at L’Arche Saint John to be more accessible and enjoyable. This includes adding several raised vegetable and flower beds, a small cold frame greenhouse, a rainwater collection system, a level pathway throughout the garden, and an accessible gathering area around the existing fire pit. This project would create meaningful work for core members/assistants/volunteers/community members, while also providing an accessible outdoor space where our community can have small socially distanced gatherings. The garden will be a permanent addition to our home to be cared for and enjoyed for years to come. 


The COVID-19 pandemic has been doubly devastating for those who have already been pushed to society's margins, like for persons with disabilities in care. While most of the wider community enjoys the freedoms of entering the Yellow Phase, the most vulnerable people in care remain under restrictions that are incredibly limiting. For over a year now, core members have not been able to regularly see their family/friends, go to the gym, attend church, or even step foot in a physical store which has resulted in a profound sense of isolation and stress.


Our hope is that establishing a more accessible and productive outdoor space will help improve the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of the core members and staff at L'Arche Saint John during the pandemic. 


- Sarah Bell (Assistant) & Katie McTiernan (Program Assistant)