Executive members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 24 in Hartland present a donation to representatives of the Hartland Community Garden on April 20. From left, Branch 24 president Gary Bovard, garden committee member Renée Crouse, garden administrator Jeff McKinney and Branch 24 treasurer Cheryl Broad. Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The cold wind blowing across the Hartland Community Garden didn’t inspire images of planting weather, but the fast-flowing St. John River across Route 105 indicated planting time is coming soon. 

Community garden representatives visited the garden at the southern end of Hartland Thursday, April 20, to accept a small donation from the town’s Royal Canadian Legion Branch 24 executives. 

“It’s seed money, pun intended,” said Branch 24 President Gary Bovard before the cheque presentation. 

He said that while $500 is not a large sum, it’s part of the Hartland Legion’s efforts to support community projects such as the garden. 

Bovard said the funds were a portion of the legion’s successful Chase the Ace program, which donated more than $40,000 to the Central Carleton Civic Centre project over six and a half years. 

While it continues to donate to the rec centre project, he said the legion wants to broaden its support to “other worthy community endeavours.” 

Bovard described the community garden as one such worthy recipient. 

Hartland Community Garden administrator Jeff McKinney accepted the legion donation, expressing his appreciation for the support. 

He said the garden committee would use the money to help with the upcoming spring planting and purchase needed items. 

McKinney said the community garden offers a combination of community-attended and privately rented garden boxes. He told Bovard the legion funds would support the garden’s community portion.

While the owners of the rental garden boxes would plant, maintain and harvest their crops, the general public can participate in growing and harvesting produce from the community boxes. 

McKinney said the garden committee is planning upgrades, including planting fruit trees and berries, over the coming years. 

“We’re trying to set up a tree nursery,” he said. 

Garden committee member Renée Crouse said area residents support and use the garden. Unfortunately, the garden does occasionally attract the attention of a few more unsavoury characters. Over the years, she explained, thieves made off with tools and equipment, including wheelbarrows and rain barrels. 

Bovard and Legion Treasurer Cheryl Broad presented the donation cheque to  McKinney and Crouse.

Legion secretary Gloria Foster, who was on hand to photograph the presentation, said helping not-for-profit community organizations is the purpose of Chase the Ace and part of the legion’s mandate. 

Bovard appreciated the support the public shows the Hartland Legion, and urged area residents to continue contributing to programs such as Chase the Ace. 

“Every dollar is a dollar for the community,” he said. 

By Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Apr 20, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   River Valley Sun   Woodstock, New Brunswick
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