Back to Our Roots Urban Farm receives $10,000 grant from Bell Let’s Talk

Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative, Dawn Boylan and Katie Burgess, Bell Aliant, and staff of gardeners of the Nova Scotia Hospital site.

Partners for Care is pleased to receive a $10,000 grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, to support the Back to Our Roots Urban Farm program. The Farm, located on the Nova Scotia Hospital site, will continue to strengthen its mental health programming promoting physical, mental and environmental health through gardening. 

Back to Our Roots has four main components:

  • A community garden where members of the public, hospital staff and patients/clients can have a plot to plant food for themselves and their family/community.
  • A market garden that grows vegetables and herbs to be sold at an on-site market stand and donated to community and hospital food programs.
  • Common gardens, dedicated to educational and experimental gardens, and nibbling patches for hungry passers-by.
  • Flower gardens, where flowers are grown for beauty and joy, and also to create bouquets to be sold at the market stand and brought into the hospital.

“Bell Let’s Talk is proud to present  Partners for Care with a $10,000 grant to support the Back to Our Roots Urban Farm  program,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “This year, the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund is providing grants to 73 organizations helping people living with a mental illness. Since 2011, the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund has invested over $6.5 million in more than 300 community mental health programs and services that improved access to mental health supports and services for Canadians in every region of the country.”

The gardens overlook Halifax Harbour and provide an opportunity for patients, families, staff and community members to mingle while growing their choice of fruit, vegetables and flowers, lessening stigma in a natural setting. Program coordinator Hillary Lindsay offers free skills training and educational workshops on growing vegetables sustainably. It makes healthy food more accessible to hospital patients, clients and staff and creates a space for gardening that is supportive and welcoming.

“The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant will allow the gardening program to continue to flourish at the Nova Scotia Hospital site,” said Lindsay. “Patients get outside in the fresh air and sunshine where they seed, tend, and ultimately harvest healthy food from their garden. There is something deeply satisfying and hopeful about watching plants grow.”

The Bell Let's Talk initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let's Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research, and workplace initiatives. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

Back to Our Roots, a project of Partners for Care and a sister farm to Common Roots in Halifax, was established in 2015 on the Nova Scotia Hospital site, Dartmouth, which serves mental health and addictions patients and clients. For more information, please visit Back to our Roots Urban Farm

Media contacts:

Kristen Lipscombe
Communications & Public Relations, Nova Scotia Health Authority
Toll free: 1-844-483-3344
Kristen.lipscombe@nshealth.ca

Isabelle Boulet, Bell Aliant Corporate Affairs
(877) 799-6299
isabelle.boulet@bellaliant.ca