The North Bay Heritage Gardeners have been active in North Bay for over 20 years, with more than 250 volunteers who spend their summers gardening at the Waterfront. Each team spends about an hour a week together as they care for their garden bed. A few of the volunteers have been volunteering with the Heritage Gardeners since it began back in 1997. The Heritage Gardeners volunteers have a special dedication and a passion for their garden beds. When you walk the Waterfront path in the summer, there is a good chance you could see a gardening team or two working away in their garden. Volunteers have said that they enjoy talking to the people walking past; many of the people compliment their work, thank the gardeners and ask questions about the plants and the gardens. Besides also getting to know the people on their team, the gardeners get to engage actively with members of the community who are at the Waterfront. Heritage Gardener volunteers give back to the community by keeping the Waterfront gardens looking beautiful for everyone to enjoy.
There’s over 50 garden beds cared for by the Heritage Gardeners volunteers. The volunteers all have their own motivations to volunteer; for socializing with friends, learning about gardening, meeting new people, and even high school students finishing their volunteer hours. Every team is made of a unique group of volunteers and is led by a team leader. The garden beds themselves are also unique; some focus on wildflowers, native species, or pollinating species. There are even beds with different terrain like the scree garden. This is one of the ways the gardens serve as an educational tool for gardeners and guest gardeners. When volunteers sign-up they aren’t required to have any previous gardening experience, so in joining a team they learn about gardening in a hands-on setting. It’s the Heritage Gardeners volunteers who embody and spread the mission statement of “community spirit in full bloom.”