Kristen Douglas/Campbell River Mirror A group of Campbell Riverites want to create a community garden in Charstate Park, a neighbourhood park in the Merecroft/McPhedran area.

Campbell River group sowing the seeds of community

A group of Campbell River citizens are hoping to plant a new community garden

A group of community-minded residents are hoping to breathe life into a neighbourhood park and turn it into a gathering place.

At the same time, they’re hoping to fill a need in the community.

The project – The Garden at Charstate – is intended to be Campbell River’s newest community garden, centred in the heart of Charstate Park in the Merecroft/McPhedran area.

Doug Denton-Howes, garden committee coordinator, said the area is identified in the city’s Sustainable Official Community Plan as a potential food security location, ideal for a community garden or orchard.

The concept has been a popular one among Campbell Riverites, with community garden plots being snapped up quickly at both the Laughing Willow Community Garden in Willow Point and the community garden in Campbellton.

“There’s a waitlist of probably over 30 people, when you look at all the gardens, that are waiting for spaces,” Denton-Howes said.

He said the garden would be a place for neighbours to “grow their own food, socialize, and develop a sense of community pride in that area.”

Charstate Park is the ideal location, he said, because of its size.

“The park is well over two acres and has a lot of greenspace and a community garden would allow for multi-use of the park,” Denton-Howes said. “Right now it’s one big open area.”

He said the garden plots will likely be built close to the park’s existing playground, with the potential to add an orchard and possibly a dog park down the road.

But for now, Denton-Howes said the committee is focused on developing the garden which, if a preliminary survey is any indication, is already gathering steam.

“Twelve people have indicated they would like to rent plots,” Denton-Howes said. “We need 13,000 square feet to complete the entire project.”

He said the plots would range in size, but the largest would be up to 100 square feet. The committee also intends to provide wheelchair accessible plots, with some doubly raised for those with mobility issues.

While the details still need to be worked out, Denton-Howes said the committee is looking to charge in the range of $30 to $45 for a plot, depending on the size.

He said the entire project will likely cost approximately $34,000, including all the labour, materials and fencing.

“Presently we have about $10,000 of in-kind donations and we’ve gotten at least one cash donation ready to come in,” Denton-Howes said.

The committee is also looking for some assistance from the city in providing water and hydro to the garden, as well as the necessary hook ups, and financial assistance equal to what the city provides to the Laughing Willow Community Garden.

“We do recognize it would come at a cost to the city. We recognize it’s a large investment,” Denton-Howes said Monday during a presentation to city council. “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

Council was receptive to the idea and referred the issue to city staff to report back on potential costs.

Coun. Colleen Evans said she recognizes that “initiatives like this really do build community” while Mayor Andy Adams said community gardens in Campbell River have “been very successful” and “build a community within a community.”

The garden, if all goes according to plan, will be available to all residents on a first come, first serve basis and will be sited in a sunny area with room for potential expansion.

Greenways Land Trust has volunteered to hold the land use lease with the city which would be good for five years, with a five-year renewal option upon request.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

New electric buses are coming to school districts. (Submitted photo)
New electric school buses will drive North Island forward

Travel on electric school buses is smoother, quieter, and healthier than traditional diesel buses

Destroyed window at Ministry of Social Development offices in Campbell River. Photo supplied by Campbell River RCMP
Police investigating arson in downtown Campbell River

Fire set at BC Employment and Assistance Office

May 3-9 was Mental Health Week, and the Campbell River RCMP is encouraging people, especially men, to seek emotional help if it’s needed. Black Press file photo
Campbell River RCMP encouraging men to seek emotional help if needed

‘Taking care of our Mental Health is not simply about accessing counselling,’ says Const. Maury Tyre

Campbell River’s waste collection schedule will be changing after Victoria Day. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror.
Campbell River Garbage pickup schedule changing after May Long Weekend

Pickup day will change after every statutory holiday

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read