Tiny but Mightily Accessible
By Allyson Wenzowski
The Sunset Cultural Garden on Bay Street North is situated right across from the entrance to Bayfront Park. It is not a stretch to say that Sunset Cultural Garden is the entrance to Bayfront Park. It’s a quiet place, a little oasis of shade, pollinator plants, bees, birds and folk in quiet contemplation.
Bayfront Park is a Hamilton gem. It is accessible by foot, bicycle, car, to most folks but it is not accessible to everyone by foot (and not everyone has access to a car or is able to ride a bicycle). For some folks going up or down an incline is impossible due to medical conditions and thus for these folks Bayfront Park is inaccessible. The Sunset Cultural Garden, however, is accessible – it is on flat ground – there is no steep incline!
As well, some folks may find the constant noise and activity at Bayfront Park overwhelming and threatening to their wellbeing – whether it is the myriad of speeding cyclists, runners, or multi dog walkers, Bayfront Park can, for some, be a sensory overload trigger. Sunset Cultural Garden, at the top of Bayfront Park, is none of these things – it is a circle of quiet and calm where outside noises appear to dissolve and disappear as one contemplates bright coneflowers and sunflowers swaying in the breeze, and the delightful gentle shades of mauve and purple of Russian sage, verbena and phlox. This little garden on a little square of soil is a powerful place to sit and quiet one’s mind, and watch pollinator plants and insects at their miraculous work.
The Sunset Cultural Garden is a working example of Hamilton as an inclusive place for everyone to live – regardless of their ableness. Let’s keep it that way. As wise folks often say, “good things come in small packages!”