Tenant Spotlight: Meet Norah
Several gardens will be flourishing with an array of vegetables this summer thanks, in part, to the work of one volunteer tenant at Clementine Towers – Norah.
Norah has lived in the building for 14 years, and it’s easy to see she isn’t afraid to step in and help. That’s what she did when she found out about the new rules around local community gardens.
The City of Ottawa and Just Food released new strict rules in May due to COVID-19 around how residents can still operate community gardens during the pandemic. Gardeners are allowed to grow plots, as long as they practice physical distancing and maintain a schedule.
Norah, who has had a garden for the last seven years, was anxious to get out and start gardening. So, she was happy to work with Community and Tenant Support staff to put together a schedule for the 16 gardeners in the building to ensure physical distancing.
Norah assigned each garden plot a colour which indicates a time for the gardener to do their tending. There are 17 plots, so the schedule is necessary to make sure no two people are there at the same time. Norah also worked with Aging in Place to have the agreements gardeners needed to sign translated into French, Arabic and Chinese.
The mother of three and grandmother grew up in the neighbourhood – she even went to high school at nearby Ridgemont High School.
In her time at Clementine Towers, Norah has held many positions in her Tenants Association. She isn’t shy about pitching in when it’s needed.
Right now, when she isn’t working out the schedule for the gardens, Norah is busy sewing masks, which she donates to her neighbours and friends.
“I have a work station with fabric and supplies set up in my living room, I can’t pump them out like some people, because I am a perfectionist and I like them to be just right,” she said.
Norah added she’s happy to give them away to people that need them.
“We have to be careful even though things are opening up because we are all seniors here,” she said.