Campbellton garden plots still available for renting

By John Twigg, Secretary

Campbellton Neighbourhood Association

Though it’s now officially summer there’s still at least three good months of growing conditions here in Campbell River and for some crops like pumpkins and onions there could be four or five months of good gardening. That’s important to know because the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association still has garden plots available for rent in its recently-opened Campbellton Community Garden on 15th Avenue between Petersen and Redwood Streets.

The 16 available plots are large, at 4 feet by 20 feet, and are filled to the brim with rich organic loam, an excellent growing medium for a wide variety of vegetables and for other plants such as fruits and even flowers.

The rent per plot is $45, unfortunately required to cover the CNA’s cost for insurance, but that includes free water and access to what will soon be a secure locked site with high fences (to deter deer!). Arrangements for rentals can be made at Quality Stoves on Petersen.

About 50 volunteers turned out on the June 13-14 weekend to erect fencing, extend a water line and build the garden plots in a large vacant area of Campbellton Park and since then CNA volunteers have been adding finishing touches with some things still needing to be done, notably installing a lockable gate. Donations of that gate and other materials such as a storage shed are still welcome.

“These garden plots will provide not only healthy fresh food for local people and for the nearby Food Bank but they also are a valuable asset for strengthening the community,” said CNA chair Brian Shaw, explaining that the garden has already yielded positive new relationships between residents and business people in the area.

Shaw expressed appreciation for the many volunteers who turned up early on a Saturday morning to begin the construction, especially Zoie Richards and the Fire Crew from Strategic Engineering, Bobcat operator Dave Donaldson of D.A.D.S. Homes and Alex Christian of Vantage Point Renovations, saying “We couldn’t have done it without you!”

Shaw also thanked Interfor for donating a large supply of yellow cedar for the plots, Fearless Log Salvage and Probyn Log for transporting it and Jess at White’s Mill for cutting it into long slabs that will last for many years without further treatment, as well as Brymik Earth Works for soil and Shar-Kare for fencing materials. Major sponsors Capital Power, Mainstream Biological, Bailey Western Star, North Island Communications, Mackie Research Capital and barbecue lunch sponsors HUB Insurance, Walmart, the City for enabling the project to proceed on city-owned land and for providing a hook-up to the water line, CNA director Ross Sharp for designing the project and the many other individual volunteers, local residents and CNA activists who participated in the construction.

Though some work still remains to be done, some vegetables were already planted by Sunday afternoon.

“The goal of the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association is to push a wide range of initiatives to revitalize the historic community and this garden is an early tangible demonstration of that,” said Shaw, noting especially the CNA’s desire to restore more public access to the shores of the Campbell River and to improve traffic flows and pedestrian safety in the area, among other goals.

The CNA is about four years old and last year incorporated as a not-for-profit charitable society.

Shaw can be contacted at 250-287-8807.