Community Gardens give people such as apartment dwellers a chance to get their hands dirty and grow their own food. Learn how the City of Langley and LEPS worked together to create this all-ages, wheelchair accessible amenity for its residents.
A new community garden has opened in the City of Langley, serving residents in nearby complexes.
“If you look around you’ll see a lot of apartment buildings and so on and so those people don’t really have access to an outdoor space” explains Sarah Atherton, the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS). “The City of Langley and LEPS came together to create the garden and serve as a place for people to create community and grow their own food.”
At the opening ceremony, City of Langley mayor Ted Schaffer highlights the reasons this project is a response to community needs.
“The City of Langley has an area of only 10 square km, with an increasing population. There has been a real desire expressed by both council and residents to maintain a strong sense of community. In an area this size that takes some creative thinking around how to maximize use of existing public space.
LEPS, the organization which manages many environmental projects in Langley will oversee the initial operations of the Garden.
“In this garden there is going to be up to 4 or 5 wheelchair accessible beds that are being installed in the next few weeks,” says Atherton. “That’ll give the opportunity for people who need assistance with either a wheelchair or a walker to have a space where they too can grow their own food and get outside and enjoy the same space that everyone’s enjoying.”
“I’m extremely pleased and my council is extremely pleased and it’s not something that (costs) thousands and thousands of dollars,” says Mayor Schaffer. “It’s something that’s affordable and you can already see people bringing in plants behind me – so they’re pretty excited, pretty stoked!”
After only a few short weeks, Linwood Garden’s presence in the community is already taking root.
“Community gardens represent an excellent space for mentorship we have young and old coming together,” says Atherton. “In today’s busy lives people don’t really know their neighbourhoods or know who lives in they neighbourhoods so community gardens are a great place for that, for everyone to come together and grow food.”
Metro Vancouver’s Regional Food System Strategy encourages citizens to grow their own fruits and veggies as one way to demystify the journey food takes from field to plate. Sarah Atherton believes opportunities like these grow awareness as well as good food.
“They know what’s in the soil, they know if there’s chemicals put in it or anything like that; a healthier community through healthier people!”
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