Gina LaPointe, CD receives Mayor’s City Builder Award
November 9th, 2016 – Mayor Jim Watson, Orléans Ward Councillor Bob Monette and Cumberland Ward Councillor Stephen Blais presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Gina LaPointe at today’s City Council meeting.
Gina LaPointe is the President of the Orléans Community Garden which currently hosts 70 plots for gardeners from the community. Since retiring as a military police officer in 2006, Gina has donated much of her time to the community garden and was elected President in November 2010. Since then, the garden has flourished with improvements that include the installation of two sheds for the gardeners, the installation of a solar panel pump system which was a first in the City of Ottawa, and most recently, the addition of beehives on the land, which is permitted due to its agricultural zoning. On top of her role and responsibilities with the garden, Gina is also a beekeeper and has been looking after the bees since their arrival.
Gina’s passion for the community garden has been an inspiration to many in the community including local ward Councillor Bob Monette, who has been involved in this project since its inception. Having been a gardener for a number of years, Councillor Monette was proud to recognize Gina at his bi-annual Volunteer Recognition Evening in 2011.
For the past three years, the Orléans Community Garden has opened its doors to members of the public as part of Ottawa Garden Day. This year, Gina was instrumental in having Mark Burleton, Head Gardener for the Governor General’s House, attend Garden Day which is an incredible accomplishment considering his limited amount of public appearances.
The Orléans Community Garden was established to provide a community space for the residents of Orléans to grow local, organic produce and to promote gardening as a healthy and cost-effective activity while educating community members on the practice and benefits of gardening. . The Orléans Community Garden gives back to the community by donating fresh produce to the Ottawa Mission which is used to prepare healthy and delicious meals for their clients. The gardeners who chose to donate food leave it in one of the sheds and Gina then cleans every item donated and delivers it personally to the Ottawa Mission every Tuesday morning.