Public garden may be moving
It was a unique project that brought free produce to anyone who wanted it.
But, the Kamloops Public Produce Project could be looking for a new home this coming growing season.
Laura Kalina, co-chair of the Kamloops Food Policy Council (KFPC), the group that took the lead on the project, said it has spoken with the developer, who owns an empty piece of land beside the garden’s location, and he indicated he might start building this summer.
She said if that was the case, the project would want to relocate.
“It’s imperative to keep this going. The momentum is there,” Kalina said.
The concern, if construction on the property was to start, is growing conditions would be less than ideal, either from a building that would limit sunlight or dust from the construction.
Last summer, a group of volunteers led by the KFPC, in partnership with the Thompson Shuswap Master Gardeners Association and Thompson Rivers University, created the public edible garden on an empty, thin strip of land in the 100-block of Victoria Street.
The garden was home to a variety of plants and vegetables — from tomatoes, squash and carrots to edible flowers for bees to pollinate.
The gardeners’ association received a food-safety grant from the Interior Health Authority for $4,500, while local developer and lot owner Casey van Dongen donated the land.
About 50 volunteers tended the garden throughout the summer.
Ultimately, Kalina said, the group would like to find a permanent home for the project, while expanding by one site a year.
Help may be on the way.
The city has put aside $35,000 in this year’s supplemental budget to renovate
park areas for edible gardens.
Kalina said her group would be happy to relocate to a city park.