Pop-ups Brighten the Day in Cobourg

In 2016, Cobourg Library created pop-up Libraries around Cobourg. These are small boxes installed in Public places that provide reading material for the public on a trust basis and they are still operating. Based on a sample of two that I looked at, they have a varying success rate. A week or so ago, the Art Gallery of Northumberland created mini pop-up Art Galleries and today, two Port Hope non-profit groups (Cultivate and Greenwood Coalition) have created 10 pop-up herb gardens – 5 in Cobourg and 5 in Port Hope. It will be interesting to see how long they survive but it’s great to see these initiatives. Based on the Library experience, Cobourg people can be trusted to a certain extent but one can be sure that there will be cynics making negative comments on this article.

Pop-up Herb Garden - King St.
Pop-up Herb Garden – King St.

Pop-up Libraries
I looked at the one at the Cobourg Police Station and found only books pushing causes – Religion or Cannabis plant growing.  I also looked at the one at the Beach next to the Trailer Park and it was doing well.  While I was there, one person was happy to use the service (take a book and leave a book) and it was filled with a range of interesting reading material – see Photos below. I believe there are also pop-up libraries at the Ecology Garden and the Mall (near Metro).

Art Galley Pop-ups
The Art Gallery version is similar in that they suggest you take a piece and leave a piece (a small piece! Of Art.). There is some information on the initiative at the Cobourg Calendar Site here – Includes photos. Currently in Port Hope, Cramahe and Brighton but not yet in Cobourg.

Pop-up Herb Gardens
Organizers have not released the locations of these but I managed to find two – one near Victoria Park at the corner of Queen and Church and the other on the north side of King East just west of McCoubrey’s – see photos below.  When asked for specific locations, Greenwood Coalition’s David Sheffield said “we would prefer that they are discoverable”.

Each garden had a sign:

Community Herb Boxes
Here’s how you do it.
Cultivate community and Greenwood coalition present

  1. Use the scissors to cut only the leaves
  2. Take only what you need
  3. Save some for your neighbours
  4. If the plant looks like it needs to grow. Let it grow.
  5. Offer your thanks to those who tend the garden.

Cultivate – www.cultivatefestival.ca   Greenwood Coalition  www.greenwoodcoalition.com

One had a scissors available but the other did not (see photos).

The groups said that they:

…. are teaming up to wage a counter attack on more than a year of social and physical disconnection by spreading the healing power of gardens around local neighbourhoods.

Initiated by Cultivate Festival founder Jeff Bray and aided by Green Wood Coalition, raised herb boxes and community vegetable beds are springing up alongside sidewalks in a community-led campaign to bring people together around food, sharing and the conversations they are sure to inspire.

“Food is the ultimate connector. I think it’s a great opportunity to keep our community connected,” says Bray. “They’re something that can remind people that we’re all in this together.”

“Walking by and clipping off a sprig of parsley for your dinner or just seeing a beautiful garden growing in your neighbourhood is a good reason to stop and chat with the person tending it,” says Sheffield. “It’s really all positive.”

Given the focus on healing from the pandemic, this initiative may not last past the Fall – meanwhile, a great idea.


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2 years ago

I think stocking the mini Library at the Police Station with murder mysteries and crime novels would be a nice touch.

Wally Keeler
2 years ago

There is a pop-up garden at James East and John.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
2 years ago

And it’s been dry as a bone, sadly, both times I checked it. I grow my own herbs, so I don’t need to take some of these, but I hauled some water from where I live a block away because I felt sorry for those plants, and felt badly for the people who came up with this lovely idea and did all the labour for it!

Last edited 2 years ago by Marie-Lynn
2 years ago

There is a pop up herb garden on James Street West near George Street.

Constance Mealing
2 years ago

The pop up library in our neighborhood on Ashland Drive is a great success. Well used.

Herb lover
2 years ago

What a great community idea!! How often do you need just a “sprig” of herbs for your recipe, and hate to buy one of those plastic wrapped ones from the grocery store!

2 years ago

Oh. I thought it was going to be about the new “Summer Pop-Up Restaurant Program” that was scheduled to start last Thursday, June 17th beside the Victoria Park Canteen and the area in front of the Yacht Club .