The Oaklands Community Association is hoping to secure a location for a community garden in either Oswald or Clawthorpe park. (Stella de Smit on Unsplash)

Oswald and Clawthorpe parks possible sites for Oaklands Community Garden

Volunteers push ahead after four years of efforts to secure space for local garden

It’s been in the works since 2015, but the Oaklands Community Association is getting closer to making a community garden a reality.

A group of volunteers has put together an expression of interest for Oswald and Clawthorpe parks as locations for a garden – or as the community association puts it, “an enhanced public space where children can cultivate an appreciation for nature’s bounty” and “those without land can grow healthy food.”

READ ALSO: Victoria’s community garden plots a hot commodity

In the past, Oaklands Park and David Spencer Park were proposed as garden spots, but both were rejected by portions of the community.

“It’s challenging because there are limited spaces in the city that are large enough for gardening,” said Katherine Muncaster, the volunteer who heads the Oaklands Community Garden Initiative. “It’s been a lot of work and I feel very sad that it hasn’t succeeded yet. I understand people feel apprehensive of any change of land use, but I also wish that we could kind of collectively make some decisions about prioritizing land for garden over lawn.”

Muncaster understands the value of city green space, but says a garden would enhance what’s available, offering a welcoming, public space that includes both private allotment gardens and potentially a food forest available to the whole community.

“We really want to have a mix of plots and commons so it feels like a welcoming pace people can walk though, pick some berries, enjoy the benches and kids play areas…it has so much potential for bringing communities together, and beauty and pollinators.”

Oaklands community development coordinator Sarah Murray agreed, citing the benefits public garden spaces offer to residents, especially renters who may not have access to, or have the ability to modify their own outdoor space.

“We don’t have any green space that involves activities for adults,” Murray said. “They also have benefits when it come to increasing food security.”

READ ALSO: Highlands plants community food forest

One or both of the locations brought to the City for approval will then be put to the community for feedback and the community association in hopes of getting resident support.

“I think some people have thought of it as taking away from public space,” Muncaster said. “But it is a public space and that’s why we want to make it the most welcoming and inviting space it can be.”

The City of Victoria has expressed its support for gardens in the city and offers a variety of grants that can be put towards community garden projects such as the City Micro-Grant, the Community Garden Volunteer Coordinator Grant and the My Great Neighbourhood Grant.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VicPD investigates stabbing near Selkirk Montessori school

Victim in potentially life-threatening condition

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

Island contestant competes on Great Canadian Baking Show

Andrea Nauta auditioned for the show before but was lucky second time around

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Most Read