Two local organizations are cultivating support for a community garden.
Salmon Arm resident Leslie Gurney has donated an acre of her property at 2870 60th Avenue NE for the garden, being proposed by the Shuswap Food Action Network in partnership with the Shuswap Family Resource Centre.
On Monday, Gurney and Ebony Vardal, who oversees the resource centre’s community kitchen program, presented the proposal to Salmon Arm city council. They explained how the garden would be a community asset, providing educational opportunities on gardening, education and environmental issues while supporting local food banks and programs with a sustainable food source.
Gurney said the idea would be to start small and grow over time.
“The plan for us would be to have one organization that says, ‘yes, we’re going to take on a plot’… rather than the whole acre getting started right away,” said Gurney. “It would be over a three or four year term in order to get the whole thing to run.
“The biggest thing though is, we really can’t started until we have a commitment for water.”
And that’s where the city comes in.
Vardal and Gurney asked the city for in-kind support, including the installation of a separate water line to Gurney’s property to service the garden. They also asked the city to waive the fees for the installation of the water service and annual watering fees, as well as the requirement for the installation of water meters.
Staff wasn’t amenable to any of the requests, noting conflicts with existing bylaws. It was suggested water could be provided off an existing service on the property with meters.
Supportive of the concept and willing to dip into its initiatives budget to assist, council asked staff find the most cost-efficient way to accommodate the water need to make the garden happen.