Town to signs community garden agreement this week

A coalition between the town, School District 91 and area environmental organizations are developing a new community garden in Vanderhoof.

The town is entering an agreement with School District 91 to develop a community garden. The proposed location on View Street will offer gardeners a view of the Nechako River and access to potable water.

The town is entering an agreement with School District 91 to develop a community garden. The proposed location on View Street will offer gardeners a view of the Nechako River and access to potable water.

A coalition between the town, School District 91 and area environmental organizations are developing a new community garden in Vanderhoof.

For numerous years, the Nechako Healthy Community Alliance (NHCA), a nonprofit society for groups that support sustainable living in the Nechako Valley, has maintained a community garden at the Vanderhoof Municipal Museum.

However, due to the low elevation and veiled location of the garden, it occasionally flooded and was sometimes raided by hoodlums.

“We were looking for a more central location with lots of visibility, lots of access to people and one without the flooding implications,” said Mayor Gerry Thiessen.

On Friday, the town moved toward signing a Property Use Agreement with the School District 91 Board of Education to occupy and develop a community garden on a parcel of land on View Street, just off Victoria Street.

The property, about an acre in size, is owned by the school district and located next to the Nechako River.

When the agreement is signed this week, the vacant plot of land can start being developed into a community garden for students and members of the community to harvest vegetables, as well as learn about gardening and interact with each other.

Last year, the NHCA acquired a grant to build a greenhouse, an addition to the community garden that would further nurture good-gardening techniques and healthy lifestyles.

The March 22 agreement includes a commitment by the town to install water services on the property, which will require a connection with a nearby yard hydrant, said Deputy Administrator Tom Clement.

“It’s something we can do fairly easily,” he said.