Houston Link to Learning will be running the Community Garden this year with some social distancing rules in place.
“It is hugely important, especially during COVID because last year, it was one of the few programs that was allowed to run, in some ways because it is outdoors and I know we never expected to be in the same state of restrictions a year later but here we are so I think people are really excited to get outside and get their garden started,” said Houston Link to Learning manager Marian Ells.
The registrations for the community garden are set to begin on Apr. 15 and the community is encouraged to call ahead in advance to book an appointment to register.
This year, the community garden will be only at its main location as the secondary location at Hagman Crescent was privately owned and the owners are now looking at developing that property. However, despite just one location, the community garden has roughly 40 raised beds. The main garden, has been around for over 16 years.
In addition to that, the garden will also feature a greenhouse this year.
Last year, the community garden received two grants, one from Imagine Grant (NH) and another one from Dungate Community Forest. Construction on the greenhouse also began last year. The money from the grants will not only help the community garden build a greenhouse but will also go towards procuring pots and other equipments that would be needed for the greenhouse.
“The greenhouse is not yet ready, but it will be ready for the season; so we are excited about that,” assured Ells.
The greenhouse and the community garden will also feature a wheelchair ramp for which Lakes District Maintenance donated the crush, the backhoe and equipment to create a base and the ramp.
“We found last year that we had a lot of interest from first-time gardeners so that was really great and we can certainly help them with that. If they have never gardened before and they haven’t got a clue, that’s okay. We can help them get started off and give some one-on-one help with that,” said Ells adding, “Having a community garden, makes a huge difference for people. The mental health concerns for COVID are huge so getting people out is really great and it is such a nice space.”
“We are excited about this season and hopefully the weather cooperates this year,” she added.
To register, community members are encouraged to call 250-845-2727 to book an appointment between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The centre will not be accepting any drop-ins due to COVID restrictions. People have to sign ahead to book an appointment.