by Rachel Everett-Fry, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
A plaque in memory of the late founder of the Giving Garden, Terry McEvoy, was unveiled on August 25. The volunteers at the Giving Garden, with help from the Municipality of North Grenville, installed the plaque as a testament to Terry’s legacy in North Grenville. In attendance at the event were volunteers Carmen Pincott, Victor and Linda Desroches, Cathy and Bill Patterson, Don Munz, Greg and Lorraine Barrow, Michelle McEvoy, Councillor John Barclay, and Deputy Mayor Jim McManaman.
The plaque reads, “In memory of Terry McEvoy”. In 2007, Terry started the Giving Garden to help those in need. Terry passed away suddenly in 2009, but volunteers continued his vision as his legacy to North Grenville. The garden provides an opportunity to practice random acts of kindness by picking produce or flowers and sharing them with others.”
At the unveiling ceremony, Victor Desroches explained that the Giving Garden was Terry’s “brainchild. Terry felt that he was so blessed in his life, that he wanted to give back.” He approached the Ferguson Forest Centre in Kemptville, and gained access to the then vacant plot of land. He started with just one plot that he tended to himself. But he was soon joined by others: volunteers, students, friends, the people who make up our community. After Terry passed away, the other Giving Garden volunteers approached the municipal council to make the Giving Garden a permanent fixture of the community, one that acts as a “showcase of the generosity of North Grenville residents.” From there, Victor explained, the garden has taken off “like a brushfire of cooperation, generosity, and goodwill.”
Deputy Mayor McManaman remembered Terry from Holy Cross School and parish council, stating that, “his memory crosses through my head very often.” Don, who designed the layout of the garden, reminded those in attendance that Terry spearheaded many of the wonderful networks of trails that we enjoy throughout North Grenville today. Terry did so much for North Grenville in his life, and, even after his passing, he continues to bring the community together. As his wife Michelle noted, “we’ve been blessed.”