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From baseball field to community garden space

The Town of Harbour Grace is aiming to breathe some new life into Moriarity Park.

In 2018, the Town launched a community garden behind the old courthouse, but with the sale of that building recently, the public vegetable plots must be moved.

The plan is to combine it with Moriarity Park, where the town’s baseball field is located. Job Creation Partnership (JCP) funding of $37,939 from the province will help with the work.

Mayor Don Coombs expects the entire project will take five years to complete, given the end goal is to see a community centre replace the ball field. For now, the funding from the JCP will cover expenses associated with turning the ball field into a community garden. This phase of the project will create approximately 12-weeks of employment for five people.

Coombs said the ball field was rarely being used and council saw the opportunity to make use of the land in a way that would work for residents of all ages.

“It’s been about three years or so,” Coombs said of the efforts to enhance Moriarity Park. “It’s come along well, and we’ve got plans in the works for the future. Eventually, it’s going to be a place for the kids with an accessible playground, splash pads, a basketball court, and everything else that comes along with that.”

Pam Parsons, MHA for Harbour Grace-Port de Grave District, was delighted to announce the funding. “It’s employment for people in the town, of course, and by making the community garden more accessible, I think it’ll do nothing but good for the town,” she said.

Community gardens promote healthy eating and hobbies on a local scale, she added. “It’s a great opportunity to get out and spend some quality time with family members, or even just yourself. It’s very therapeutic; gardening has proven to be something that can greatly enhance quality of life and mental health.”

The JCP program helps people who are short on qualifying hours for employment insurance to “top up” their stamps.

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