Eleanor Kidd Park was established in 1977, located on the south side of the Assinboine River, and east of the Thompson twinned bridge. The site has unique significance to the city of Brandon because it was the former site of an animal shelter overseen by an animal-loving lady from London, England.
Eleanor Maud was born in 1881 in England and was trained as a nurse/midwife at the Liverpool Children's Hospital. She worked as a private nurse for affluent families in Italy. Eleanor immigrated to Canada in 1913 and lived in Portage la Prairie where she worked as a public health nurse. In 1921 she married a Brandon barber William Wesley Kidd and the couple made Brandon their home.
Eleanor Kidd is credited with incorporating the Brando SPCA/Humane Society in 1947 at the age of 66.
Adjacent to the park were the Eleanor Kidd Gardens, a beautiful place adorned with fountain plazas and sculptures, and flowers you would find in an English garden like roses and peonies.
Flooding of the Assiniboine River in 2011 and then again in 2014 rendered the site pretty much destroyed, and abandoned, until now. Bee City Brandon has taken the project under their wing, partnering with the City of Brandon for cleanup of the area.
Bee City Brandon Committee Chair, Sherry Punak-Murphy says they're bringing the gardens back to native plants to Manitoba that can survive the rains and droughts of the prairies.
"We're getting volunteers, and we hope to have a beautiful garden, a place where there is prairie gardens where we would have educational things like how to create a pollinator garden, what are our different pollinators, indigenous teachings of native plants," shares Murphy. "And I always say it's for pollinators, plants and people!"
Please listen to more with Sherry Punak-Murphy below!
For more on this project visit the Bee City Brandon website or click HERE!