Community Gardens: The Movement is Growing

Last Updated (Monday, 20 July 2009 15:28)
Written by Community Greens
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 14:33

Across Victoria a new movement is taking root.

In boulevards and parks across the city people are tearing up the sod to grow vegetable gardens in their place. And why not? Producing food locally dramatically reduces the carbon imprint of the groceries we consume, and in a city with such low urban density as Victoria we certainly could be making better use of our lawns and roadside green-spaces than growing grass. There is a misconception that public spaces cannot actually be used by the public, but that perception is changing. Starting in 2008, a couple of gardening enthusiasts in the Fernwood area set a precedent that has now inspired others to turn over the turf where they live. The Haultain Common is a community garden located on the boulevard between the sidewalk and road where vegetables are grown for the neighborhood on a volunteer basis. This pioneer project demonstrated by taking direct action that while (currently) unorthodox, there is nothing that the city can legally do to prevent people from growing food instead of lawns. As it stands, the care taking responsibility for boulevards is either that of the parks and recreation department or the property owners & this is decided on a block by block basis. If the onus falls on the property owner, then, instead of being charged $2.50 per year per m2rd by the city, one can choose to maintain that piece of land in any way one sees fit. So long as there are no unreasonable risks to the sidewalk strolling public, it is perfectly acceptable to grow food in the public boulevards of the 'Garden City'. To find out weather or not your street is maintained by the city you can contact the Parks and Rec Dep at: (250) 361-0361
Happy planting.

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