Guerrilla gardeners in Halifax cultivate with rebellious twist

A group of climate change activists gathered at the Quinpool Common in Halifax on Sunday with hoes and shovels in hand.

As a part of climate week, a non-profit group called Extinction Rebellion is taking action. At the root of the idea, they're gardening.

But the group says it's guerilla gardening that sets them apart.

"I'm a part of the generation that's going to see the worst of climate change," said Jen Hall, a member of the Halifax Extinction Rebellion group. "I'm not happy about that."

Guerilla gardening seeks to reclaim unused green spaces within the city, said Hall.

Kaitlyn Swan

The garden on the Quinpool Common has about 10 raised beds for food and flowers.

Hall said the group is also planting beds dedicated to pollinating insects to provide habitat and food for them. About 20 people showed up to help.

"It feels empowering. We're looking to make something that can be useful for the community."

Hall said it's more than just having a few pretty flowers to look at, although it's a perk.

"We want to encourage people to come together as a community, investigate alternate ways of producing foods and to promote food security," said Hall.

Kaitlyn Swan

Guerilla gardening does not always receive a positive reception. Most guerilla gardens are planted in urban settings, typically on land owned by the municipality.

People who want to start these types of gardens are usually aware they can be removed at any time. 

Hall said their efforts are still worth the time. 

The group used materials that had been discarded to build the garden. They also received some donations.

"We wanted to show people how you can transform waste into food, essentially," said Hall.

Kaitlyn Swan

Aven Fisher, a member of group who lives in the Quinpool area, said a community garden is a better use of space than another condo or swimming pool.

"I'd like to see more stuff the whole community can use and participate in, especially in a way that combats climate change like growing food and knowing about nature," said Fisher.

"People are worth saving. Everyone needs to pitch in and help."

The group will be holding climate-based events for the rest of week.