Community gardens can take measures to operate safely during COVID-19.
Community gardens offer a space for people to grow their own nutritious food, connect with community and contribute to neighbourhood food security. School gardens offer important opportunities for learning and food production.
The Province has designated community gardens as essential food and agriculture service providers during the COVID-19 response. This includes shared gardens that are on public, private and school district land.
Here you will find information to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and maintain a safe and healthy environment for garden users (members, students and volunteers).
Note: The advice below is based on current public health recommendations and may change.
With the growing season here, it’s nice to be outside in your garden. Before you go to your community or school garden, we want to make sure that you know how to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each community and school garden is expected to have a garden access plan. Contact your community or school garden coordinator if this hasn’t yet been shared with you. This plan is to help lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission while at the garden. Read the garden access plan and the information below before going to your community or school garden.
- Right now, only gardeners, assigned volunteers and coordinators can go into community or school gardens. This might change later.
- Do not garden if you are sick OR have travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days OR were identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case or outbreak. You can check for symptoms of COVID-19 here.
- If you cannot work on your garden, and need to find someone to help, talk to the garden coordinator.
- If a group of people needs to get together to work on a project, make sure the measures listed here can be followed.
- If you are using a school garden, follow all infection and prevention control measures outlined by the school district or independent school authority.
- If your garden is on land owned by a local government, follow all infection and prevention control measures outlined by your municipality or regional district regarding use of the land and any local government services.
- Follow the garden coordinator’s schedule for when you can garden.
- Limit the number of people from your household that go to the garden.
- Always stay at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from others, unless you live in the same household. You might have to wait to get into or out of the garden area or a shared shed. You might also have to wait for water. Please be patient and keep your distance.
- If you bring a child, make sure they keep at least 2 metres from other people and wash or disinfect their hands when entering and leaving the garden.
- Follow instructions on signs, and respect chalk or tape markings that help with physical distancing.
- Follow COVID-19 precautions at all times.
- Use the handwashing stations provided at/near the entrance to the garden.
- Wash your hands when you enter and leave the garden. You can bring soap and hot water in a thermos to clean your hands or use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol if you prefer.
- If you wear gardening gloves, wash your hands after you take them off.
- Bring your own tools if possible.
- If tools are shared, they should be cleaned and disinfected at least twice a day. Ask your garden coordinator how this will be arranged.
- If you share food you grow, wash or disinfect your hands before handling the food. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be washed or scrubbed under cold, running, potable tap water prior to being eaten.
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View the guidance document for more information: