The building expansion project of Open Door Group’s Gardengate Horticulture Program in Brocklehurst is now complete.
In a virtual grand opening via Zoom, stakeholders marked the event on April 22.
Having broken ground in September of 2020, the project’s completion proved a bountiful harvest for the many hands, which dug deep to raise funds, provide labour and offer services to see the 2,200 square-foot learning centre on Southill Street completed.
One of those involved in overseeing the building process is Acres Enterprise owner/president Jason Paige, who joined the Zoom call and shared details of the moment when he first got involved.
Paige said he offered the services of an excavator at a certain point and soon found it didn’t take long to realize he wanted Acres to be committed to the project in a more meaningful way.
The company jumped right in and began helping with the front-end of the project, to get it off the ground.
Over the course of construction, Paige said, many of his staff were asking to work on the project.
It became something in which many people really wanted to get involved.
“We build a lot of things around the province,” Paige said. “This one has a real special place in our hearts because we don’t think, in this one, we’re building projects. We’re building the community and we’re actually building the people within the community, which is even more important.”
Acres Enterprises announced a contribution of $5,000 toward the Gardengate program during the groundbreaking event.
Gardengate initially began as a discussion between Interior Health and Open Door Group.
The vision was to provide a space of healing and recovery through a horticulture program for people living with mental-health conditions or addictions.
In 1998, a 700-square-foot facility was built on a one-acre parcel of land that year, seeing a greenhouse erected shortly thereafter.
In 2008, one acre grew to 2.8 acres, offering an ability to increase the number of crops with an irrigation system to soon follow.
Just last year, more than 15,000 pounds of produce was harvested and distributed to volunteers and community supporters in Kamloops.
Now, with the latest building in operation, complete with commercial kitchen, large indoor working space and an office, the program will continue to give participants the opportunity to cultivate skills, including cooking, carpentry, sales, marketing and machine maintenance.
As Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian said, in a video message aired during the virtual event: “It speaks to the future of Kamloops, a brighter future for those involved.”
MAY PLANT SALE
The new Gardengate Learning Centre is located at 915 Southill St. in Brocklehurst, next to Overlander Extended Care.
Gardengate’s May plant sale will be held on Saturday, May 8, and Saturday May 15, and offers customers online ordering, with curb-side collection preferred.
To fill out an order form and get instructions on picking up plants, go online to opendoorgroup.org/gardengate or facebook.com/odggardengate. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gardengate also offers healthy living workshops and volunteer opportunities. Call 250-554-9453 to volunteer.