Site approved for community garden

The Central Saanich Community Garden Society presented a final proposal to Council June 14, 2021, and outlined their plan for a small community garden at 1223 Clarke Drive. The society is working on many community partnerships. They have been working with Brentwood Elementary, and the Boys and Girls Club is excited to utilize their own garden bed at the site in their program. The society also intends to work with Girl Guides groups and use the garden to foster local indigenous educational opportunities about native plants and traditional plant names. The public will be invited to workshops and events once the garden is established.

1223 Clarke was approved as the site due to the available infrastructure (public washroom, parking, transit access and water), having 1,725 properties within 1 km of this space, and because the majority of the Society's members live in Brentwood Bay and indicate they will often walk to the site.

The project is now focused on fundraising and planning; construction is anticipated for early 2022 in time for the spring growing season.

Why are community gardens important?

Community gardens are inclusive by design; offering low cost access to garden space. In addition to the benefits they offer for mental and physical health, food security is an increasing local and regional issue. A community garden offers opportunities for partnerships and public educational that strengthen Central Saanich residents involvement in, and appreciation for, local food supply chains. In addition, community gardens can help increase local economic and community resilience for members.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, 1 in 10 Central Saanich residents who responded to Island Health’s COVID-19 SPEAK Survey indicated that they, “worry that food will run out before they get money to buy more” while 1 in 4 respondents said it is more difficult to meet financial needs. Regional food security is a prevalent concern of residents; during the Official Community Plan survey in 2021, "food security" ranked highest as an urgent priority for Central Saanich in in the future; and second highest as an urgent priority now. Climate and global health events are expected to increase in frequency and severity in future.

The society is committed to being a good neighbour and working with the local neighbourhood. If you have ideas or concerns, please reach out to the society.

The society is now fundraising and planning. If you're interested in getting involved or to learn more about their proposal, please see https://csgardens.org/plans

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