BARRIE, ONT. -- A decade since being built, Barrie's first community garden at Sunnidale Park continues to grow.

Wendy Lovenmark, a landscape architectural technologist with the city of Barrie, said it's more than just a garden.

"This garden is a testament to how hearty and durable the residents of Barrie are in their community gardens. The people here have lasted and gone up against the gophers and the lack of water. They're still with us today, and they love their garden," said Lovenmark.

While the pilot garden has it's challenges, including a lack of water and issues with wildlife, it has served as a great learning experience for the city's three other gardens.

According to Lovenmark, gardens are created based on the request of residents and carried by the city. Residents can rent seasonal plots to grow fruits, vegetables and perennials.

On top of self-sustainability, the goal of the garden is to give residents a sense of community.

"You do create a community where you do talk through emails and connect and opportunities to hold gardening events and share gardening information," said Lovenmark.

Registration for the 2021 gardening season starts Nov. 1. The city of Barrie is closely watching this program, and if enough people remain interested, it could grow.