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Guerilla gardening in bloom

He’s Edmonton’s version of Johnny Appleseed and this local green-thumb is hoping more people start following his lead.

He’s Edmonton’s version of Johnny Appleseed and this local green-thumb is hoping more people start following his lead.

“I love to throw tons of seeds over a fence, just to see what grows,” Dustin Bajer told a group of about a dozen people in a classroom at Grant MacEwan University.

Bajer was at the school giving a talk on his grassroots group Edmonton Guerrilla Gardeners, and his vision of a greener city.

Bajer started a Facebook group three years ago and threw the idea out there to improve neighbourhoods, parking lots, and unused public spaces by gardening beyond your own back yard.

That idea spread like weeds and at the gardeners’ first event, 20 people showed up with plants in hand. Half of them Bajer had never met before.

“We met at the gazebo off Whyte and it was totally unorganized,” Bajer said.

“People just showed up with whatever plants they had and we just walked around the neighbourhood trying to find homes for them.”

The Facebook group has about 400 members now. They’re much more organized and they consistently get 20 to 30 people out to any one event.

While Bajer admitted that the name “guerrilla gardener” and the idea of illegal gardening can have negative connotations, he said his intentions are nothing but good.

“We’re not about vandalizing anything or trespassing,” he said. “We’re just about trying to do something interesting with neglected space. And there’s a lot of it.”

To find out more about the Edmonton Guerrilla Gardeners, search for them on Facebook or email theurbangreening@gmail.com.

 
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