The Kimberley Edible Gardens and Greenhouse Society, which formerly operated a greenhouse and garden on Church Street, is looking for a new location this year, as their current one is no longer available.
Society member Jori Adank presented to Kimberley Council, saying the group was passionate about gardening. and that the pandemic has brought home the necessity for sustainable local food.
What KEGG was proposing to Council was that they make a portion of McDougal Park available for a new greenhouse and garden.
Adank said it would be built to be beautiful to look at and would utilize an underused portion of the park, and also utilize the old change room building for McDougal Pool.
KEGG began in 2014 as a project of the Kimberley Seniors Project Society and was incorporated as a separate society in 2020. It had some 26 members last year, who gardened together while learning different techniques.
“Everyone works together, and collaborates,” Adank said. “It’s a good social gathering.”
The plan is to build a 15 by 20 post and beam greenhouse and an outside garden plot. Adank says the group has a stockpile of good soil.
Soil was one reason the group chose McDougal Park. They looked at other sites, such as Centennial Hall where a previous community garden was located, but it was used as a snow storage site by the city and the soil was low quality and full of gravel.
All the McDougal site needs is to turn the sod and add more soil. The Society also has the funds on hand to fence the property, and have applied for a grant for irrigation, but can manage without that this year.
Excess produce from the garden will go to the Healthy Kimberley Food Recovery Depot, or the Food Bank.
What the group requires from the City is a licence of occupation for the area, which Council agreed should be no problem to grant.
Overall, Council was enthusiastic about the idea, noting that it would be an attractive addition to the park. A Licence of Occupation will be developed so the project can proceed.