Nelson council considering community garden at Seventh Street Park

At the site of the proposed community garden and greenhouse site in Seventh St. Park, from left: Youth Climate Corps members Wa-ya Aeon, Melissa Maslany, Jake Schachter, and Linn Murray; project co-ordinator Richard Klein; and Heather Keczan with her daughter Willow. Photo: Bill MetcalfeAt the site of the proposed community garden and greenhouse site in Seventh St. Park, from left: Youth Climate Corps members Wa-ya Aeon, Melissa Maslany, Jake Schachter, and Linn Murray; project co-ordinator Richard Klein; and Heather Keczan with her daughter Willow. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Coordinator Heather Keczan explains the layout of the proposed community garden to members of the Youth Climate Corps. Photo: Bill MetcalfeCoordinator Heather Keczan explains the layout of the proposed community garden to members of the Youth Climate Corps. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
The community garden is planned for the east end of the park on Seventh Street across the street from Lakeview Village. Photo: Bill MetcalfeThe community garden is planned for the east end of the park on Seventh Street across the street from Lakeview Village. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

A coalition of groups has asked Nelson City Council for a permit to create the Seventh Street Community Garden on city-owned land in lower Fairview.

The garden would be created by the Nelson Community Food Centre, Nelson SEEDS, and the regional environmental organization Wildsight, to eventually be managed by the food centre. The collaboration is being coordinated by Heather Keczan.

“We all know the benefits of gardening,” she told council at its Sept. 28 meeting. “The benefits are physical, social, and environmental. A community garden can strengthen a community.”

The seniors gardening organization SEEDS owns a 1,200 square foot greenhouse that was to be moved from Lakeside Park to Seventh Street this year, but this has been delayed by the pandemic.

According to this new plan presented to council, the greenhouse would be moved and reconstructed by the Youth Climate Corps, a project of Wildsight. The 14-member group of people ages 19 to 28 has been taking training and will be paid to do climate change mitigation work in the Nelson area. The greenhouse in the community garden is one such project, and it is hoped that it can be ready this fall, Climate Corps co-founder Richard Klein told council.

“We’re trying to a demonstrate a culture of civic engagement with these young people,” Klein said. “With the community garden, we want to do some things that support community resilience.”

In addition to the greenhouse, the garden would include a drip irrigation system, a deer fence, 52 raised garden beds 3.6 by 1.2 metres, a perennial and berry area, a sheltered area for volunteers, washing sinks and work tables, and a compost area.

Some of the garden boxes would be rented to members of the public, with priority given to neighbours, and others would be used by the food centre as part of its services to low-income people.

“Lakeview Village has some garden boxes there so we said, let’s just multiply these, with some of them designated for the food centre for safe, affordable, locally grown produce,” said Keczan.

“The local residents will play a role,” she added, “and we hope to have a garden committee formed and perhaps they will be the ones who will take over the management of it.”

The council discussion of the community garden can be watched starting at 20:50 here:

Keczan told council she had just participated in two weeks of training for the Youth Climate Corps and she was impressed.

“They are as shovel-ready as anything,” she said.

Members of the youth group will be paid $2,000 per month for four months under a $160,000 grant to Wildsight from the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement. During that time they hope to raise more money to extend their work beyond four months.

In addition to the greenhouse, the climate group will be working with energy retrofits in the Nelson area, and will soon begin helping with wildfire mitigation work at Nelson’s water intake in West Arm Park.

In addition to asking for permission to occupy land for the community garden, the coalition also asked the city for access to soil and leaf mulch from the city’s stockpiles, waiver of water hook-up fees, partial insurance coverage, expedited permits so the greenhouse can be constructed this fall, and possible financial assistance in the future.

The presentation was for the information of council only, and the request will be brought to the Oct. 13 council meeting at which a decision will be made.

Mayor John Dooley remarked on the tight time frame and cautioned the group that they should consult residents of the immediate neighbourhood.

“The folks across in the Golden Life building, they might have something to say, good or bad,” Dooley said, adding, “Nelson’s history of community gardens has been marginal at best.”

Klein assured Dooley that the group has organized such a community meeting to be held before the next council meeting.

Related:

Nelson’s SEEDS to move from Lakeside Park



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

L.V. Rogers student Nicolaj Bucher plays the trumpet as part of five-piece jazz ensemble LVJ5. Unable to perform live, the group recorded an album instead. Photo: Tyler Harper
Unable to perform live, L.V. Rogers jazz group instead records debut album

LVJ5 has released Lockdown Fever on streaming services

Grand Forks Fire/Rescue volunteers doused a hillside fire late Monday night, May 17. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks Fire/Rescue puts out hillside fire

No one was injured after a campfire got out of control below Columbia Drive

Michelle Jacobs receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 28, 2021. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
126 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

There are 22 individuals hospitalized due to the virus, and 13 in intensive care

Faye Petersen (left) and Emma LeCouffe have set up a STEAM fair for J.V. Humphries’ students. Photo: Submitted
Kaslo students plan school-wide STEAM fair

Emma LeCouffe and Faye Petersen have organized the event at J.V. Humphries

Map: BCWildfire Service
UPDATE: Human-caused wildfire burning near Castlegar

The McCormick Creek fire started Sunday

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The top photo is of a real carbine rifle, while the bottom photo is the airsoft rifle seized from a Kelowna man on May 15. (Contributed)
RCMP issue warning: ‘Imitation firearms need to be dealt with responsibly’

A man brandishing his airsoft rifle in public had his weapon seized by Mounties on Saturday

Abbotsford Regional Hospital. (Black Press Media files)
Canada marks 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began

6 in every 10,000 Canadians died of COVID-19 since March 9, 2020

Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen, with the 100 Mile House RCMP. (Melissa Smalley - 100 Mile Free Press)
14-year-old boy killed in serious ATV crash near 100 Mile House

Youth was travelling with a group of peers when the incident occurred last Friday

Relief is coming for B.C.’s struggling tourism sector. (NEWS file photo)
B.C. officials set to announce more support for tourism sector hit hard by pandemic

Non-essential travel is restricted between three regional zones in B.C. until at least May 24

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Nathalie Emmanuel, left, and Vin Diesel in a scene from “F9.” (Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures via AP)
The blockbuster movie is making a comeback this summer

Excitement in the industry is growing again for a return to a big-screen normal

Grand Forks Fire/Rescue’s Dave Paulett hoses down a section of a wooden retaining wall which caught fire Monday, May 17. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Fire starts in Grand Forks backyard after by oily rags left in sun

Flames put out before reaching home on 800-block of 72nd Avenue

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

Most Read