Fiskars' Project Orange Thumb transforms empty field in Lees Avenue community into beautiful garden in one day

Fiskars partners with Ottawa community groups and Canadian Tire to plant seeds of community pride

MADISON, WI, June 21, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, an empty field in the Lees Avenue community will be transformed into a vibrant and productive community garden - in a single day.

Fiskars, a leading global supplier of consumer products for the home, garden and outdoors, has partnered with the Community Gardening Network of Ottawa (CGN), a program of Just Food; The City of Ottawa; Sandy Hill Community Health Centre; and Canadian Tire to build a community garden full of fruits, vegetables and flowers during a one-day garden installation through Fiskars community garden initiative Project Orange Thumb.

"Each summer, Project Orange Thumb garden makeovers give us as an opportunity to roll up our sleeves and work side by side with community groups to celebrate the endeavor of community gardening and build something that will benefit the community for years to come," said Fiskars President Paul Tonnesen. "This year, we're looking forward to working with the Lees Avenue community to beautify an unused piece of land and help meet the growing demand for garden plots in Ottawa."

The event will take place at 166 Lees Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario. The one-day garden installation begins with a "first dig" at 8:00 a.m. and ends with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4:00 p.m. Nearly 75 volunteers from Fiskars, Canadian Tire, Just Food, Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, Manderly and the Lees Avenue community are expected to participate in the one-day installation.

"Canadian Tire shares Fiskars commitment to building beautiful and sustainable community garden spaces," said Michael Magennis, Vice President, Seasonal and Gardening, Canadian Tire Corporation. "Supporting the communities in which we live, work and serve is core to the Canadian Tire culture. We're excited to join our partners to establish the new Lees Avenue Community Garden and sow the seeds of pride in Ottawa."

Lees Avenue community members welcome the new garden as an opportunity to come together to grow their own fruits and vegetables. The new 5,000 square-foot Lees Avenue Community Garden will contain 12 raised beds, including two communal beds filled with berries and rhubarb, and three beds with built-in benches for gardeners with limited mobility. Community members will have the opportunity to rent garden plots or utilize communal beds and plans are being made to donate a portion of the produce grown in the garden to local food banks. The garden will also have a community gathering space with a bench seating area that will be used for a variety of community programs and workshops.

"Community gardens are important spaces for people interested in taking control over the food they eat," explains CGN coordinator Terri O'Neill.  "When you grow a tomato or a pepper from your own garden, it's no longer just something that comes off a supermarket shelf.  There's a lot of pride that goes into these gardens; people discover a whole new relationship to their food."

Author and TV host Joe Lamp'l designed the garden and will oversee the planting on the day of the event. The day-long installation will include a donation of a range of Fiskars garden tools. Canadian Tire is providing the live goods, hardware and tools for the garden installation as well as staff volunteers from local stores. The City of Ottawa is donating the land for the garden and the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre is supporting the event through community awareness and volunteer outreach.

The Lees Avenue Community Garden will join a growing network of 32 gardens supported by CGN and run by non-profit community groups throughout the city. An additional 2012 Project Orange Thumb garden makeover will take place in San Antonio, TX (August 15).

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Established in 2002, Fiskars' Project Orange Thumb® is a community gardening initiative that provides groups across the U.S. and Canada with tools, materials and resources they need to create beautiful and productive community garden spaces. Project Orange Thumb has provided over $1.3 million to more than 125 community groups. For more information, please visit and

Fiskars Corporation is a leading global supplier of consumer products for the home, garden and outdoors. The world famous orange-handled scissors are a registered trademark of Fiskars Corporation. The group has a strong portfolio of trusted international brands including: Fiskars, the World's #1 Scissors Brand, Iittala and Gerber. Founded in 1649, Fiskars has over 360 years of product quality excellence and is Finland's oldest company. Please visit and

Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSX: CTC, CTC.a) is one of Canada's most-shopped general retailers and the country's largest sporting goods retailer, with more than 1,700 retail and gasoline outlets from coast-to-coast.  Our primary retail business categories - Automotive, Living, Fixing, Playing, Sports and Apparel - are supported and strengthened by our Financial Services division, which offers such products and services as Canadian Tire Home Services, credit cards, retail deposits, in-store financing, product warranties, and insurance.  Nearly 68,000 people are employed across the Canadian Tire enterprise, which was founded in 1922 and remains one of Canada's most recognized and trusted brands.

Just Food is a grassroots, non-profit organization that includes staff, volunteers, community partners, members and funders. All Just Food projects are community-based and work towards a vibrant, just and sustainable food system in the Ottawa region.

Image with caption: "Fiskars partnered with Canadian Tire and other Ottawa community groups to build the new Lees Avenue Community Garden on June 21. The one-day garden installation ended with a ribbon cutting ceremony. From left to right: Terri O'Neill, Coordinator, Just Food; Ian Detta; David Chernushenko, Councilor, Capital Ward; Paul Dewar, Member of Parliament, Ottawa Centre; Joe Lamp'l, Garden Designer; Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa; Paul Tonnesen, President, Fiskars Americas; Yasir Naqvi, Member of Provincial Parliament, Ottawa Centre; Michael Magennis, Vice President, Seasonal and Gardening, Canadian Tire Corporation. (CNW Group/Fiskars)". Image available at:

SOURCE Fiskars

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Amanda Weibel

Lena Wan

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