August 9, 2021
Construction is underway on the Humboldt Urban Garden Sanctuary
Volunteers broke ground for the Humbolt Urban Garden Sanctuary in June 2021.

Construction is underway on the Humboldt Urban Garden Sanctuary

More than three years ago, the community of Humboldt, Sask., was forever changed by the tragedy involving the Broncos hockey team.

Now, the Humboldt Urban Garden Sanctuary (HUGS) is under construction, as a way to honour the victims and families of the tragedy.

Located at the Humboldt District Health Complex, the project was created by Landscape Saskatchewan, Landscape Alberta and Communities in Bloom, with support from Scotts Canada and the City of Humboldt.

A ceremonial tree planting was held in June to officially break ground on the reflective garden space.

“We are extremely proud to be able to give back with this project, the tragedy in Humboldt impacted so many and we are thankful to help by creating a space of remembrance and healing for everyone touched by the tragedy,” said Leslie Cornell, past-president of Landscape Saskatchewan and owner of Cornell Design & Landscaping in Moose Jaw.

After setting the site as the Humboldt District Health Complex and creating a design brief, the HUGS steering group worked with Olds College horticultural students to hold a design event. Joy Newsham’s concept was selected, which features a variety of spaces and uses that will provide a garden that is equal parts memorial and healing space.

The garden will include accessible pathways to enjoy the variety of trees, shrubs and flowers planted throughout the space. As well, several seating areas will allow for either gathering of friends and family or quiet reflection. The feature area will also include a custom art sculpture by local artist Murray Cook.

Construction is expected to be complete by September 2021.