Community garden effort given the go-ahead

Tyler Clarke
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With more than 30 people interested in participating and a tract of land set aside near École Holy Cross, a Prince Albert community garden is good to go.


Community garden

“At this point we’re looking to move ahead with a minimum of 30 interested parties, and we’re continuing communications, continuing planning, so there are opportunities to gather more as we go,” Smart Families Food Co-op president Merle Lacert said.

“All potential is dependent on support, whether it be participant, city, or even participating businesses.”

North of École Holy Cross on 15th Street West is a large grass area that currently houses 50 garden plots, each about 625 square feet in size.

“They’re going to extend that garden space and we’ll have a lot of opportunities to accommodate anyone interested in gardening,” Lacert said

The local community garden group, led by the Prince Albert Food Coalition, plans on adding another 15 plots to the property this year, with the land capable of producing many more garden plots in future years.

The École Holy Cross site was selected during the community garden group’s second meeting at the Bernice Sayese Centre on Thursday.

During their first meeting at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library the previous week, members were eying the possibility of opening up community gardens in vacant lots throughout the city.

“There may be some land available but we’re going to be looking at it for next year,” Lacert said, explaining the findings of this week’s meeting.

“Given the timelines now, it would have to go to city council, so that would be a six to eight-week process.”

For now, a strong majority of those interested in community garden plots do not have mobility issues and can make it out to the École Holy Cross site, Lacert said.

Should further need be expressed in the future, they’ll look into plots of land in various other areas of the city for next year.

It all depends on what members want, Lacert said.

“Our focus this year is to get it going and have success, and build on that success for years to come,” he said.

“It not only will strengthen the community, but it strengthens the food charter -- primarily around increasing local food production, and at this stage the coalition is very happy and satisfied with any kind of growth moving forward.”

The Prince Albert Food Charter is a document that has been adopted by city council and sets food security as a priority.

The community garden group’s next meeting has been set for Thursday, May 15, at 7 p.m. at the École Holy Cross garden space, located just north of the school at 2051 15th Ave. E.

The meeting will begin with a tour of the Holy Cross Community Garden space and will be followed by a meeting at the Cornerstone Freed Methodist Church at 2200 15th Ave. E.

Existing and prospective members will be encouraged to attend the May 15 tour and meeting.

For more information on the gardening group, contact Prince Albert Food Coalition president Rick Sawa at 961-7894, or visit the group’s Facebook page, Prince Albert Community Garden.

Organizations: École Holy Cross, Prince Albert Food Coalition, Smart Families Food Co-op Bernice Sayese Centre John M. Cuelenaere Public Library Prince Albert Food Charter Cornerstone Freed Methodist Church

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