Fort Providence turns curling club into community greenhouse

Grow lights provide a pink hue inside a greenhouse that used to be Fort Providence's curling rink
Grow lights provide a pink hue inside a greenhouse that used to be Fort Providence's curling rink. Jason Collard/Northern Loco

An unused curling club building in Fort Providence has taken on new life as an all-season greenhouse for the community.

The initiative, led by Fort Providence-based group Northern Loco alongside the hamlet and Deh Gáh Got’îê First Nation, includes an indoor garden, outdoor growing boxes, and a hydroponic system.

Jason Collard, Northern Loco’s program coordinator, said the community came together to help with the construction and planting of the gardens.

“The goal is to have people come in, plant together, and then share in the harvest,” he said.



Youth in Fort Providence seeded outdoor garden beds in mid-June. Jason Collard/Northern Loco

Youth in Fort Providence seeding outdoor garden beds. Jason Collard/Northern Loco

For the greenhouse’s first season, available plots will be shared as there aren’t currently enough for everyone to have their own.

Collard hopes community members eventually take over the running of the project and use the space, which he says has “a really good energy to it,” as a place to be social.

“Then there’s developing local capacity around agricultural skills,” he said, “and trying to work toward looking at addressing food security in the region.”



The former curling club is the only community greenhouse in the hamlet.

Collard said the response from Fort Providence residents has been “overwhelmingly positive” so far.

“The kids just can’t wait to get planting and playing in the mud in the dirt,” he said.

“People are stopping in daily as we’re doing construction, going, ‘Wow, this looks so cool, we can’t wait to get involved.’”