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Community Gardening

 


Alexandra Neighbourhood House oversees two community gardens, consisting of eighty-four leased plots, five food-sharing plots, and over one hundred gardeners.

Come Garden With Us!

Alexandra Community Garden (at Crescent Beach) and Crescent Park Community Garden (in Ocean Park) provide a combined total of eighty-four plots for lease. Community gardens provide a source of local, fresh, organic produce, along with the physical and emotional benefits of getting outside and working the earth. But they are also places where community happens. Last year, our gardeners built produce-sharing boxes to allow harvesting by passers-by; and they annually donate boxes of produce to Sources Food Bank.

In addition to our privately-leased plots, both gardens include common plots, in which gardeners tend and share produce which is not appropriate to the limited space of individual plots. Each also include other amenities to enjoy the space.

Aside from fresh fruit and veggies, community gardens offer an opportunity to make new friends through social gatherings and work parties. Each of our gardens benefit from the volunteer contribution of trained Master Gardeners, who provide education and answers to common garden questions. In the coming season, we look forward to the development of engagement opportunities with other community gardens.

The cost for leasing a plot is $25/year, plus membership in Alexandra Neighbourhood House ($10/year individual; $8 senior/student; $15/year family), and a volunteer commitment of eight hours per season to the maintenance and beautification of the garden as a whole. Residents of Kiwanis Park Place pay a flat $15/year for plots at Crescent Park Community Garden.

Applications open on January 15th, but you can get on our waitlist now by emailing our office at info@alexhouse.net or calling 604-535-0015. Please indicate which of the two gardens you prefer.

Plot-holders at Crescent Park Community Garden met for their annual fall meeting, where CPCG Master Gardener Senga Fullam gave an excellent presentation on preparing gardens for the fall and winter, including winter gardening; and spoke of what she learned at a conference on place-based food systems.

What is a community garden?

A community garden is a shared resource. Individuals from the community lease plots annually. Usually, as is the case with our community gardens, the plots are in enclosed, raised boxes. In addition to the individual plots, community gardens often include communal plots for larger and/or more space-consuming crops (like corn, pumpkins, or berry bushes) and food-sharing plots for the wider community or for food banks.

Our community gardens

Alexandra Community Garden was established in 2012, and is located in the park on Sullivan St across from our Crescent Beach location. It consists of thirty leased plots, a food-sharing plot, and several communally-tended ornamental and herb boxes. Across the street, at our main facility, volunteers also tend a large plot growing produce for the Sources Food Bank. Features of the garden include a gate and dry creek-bed feature, a pergola with a picnic table and benches, a “little free library,” a garden shed, and compost boxes.

Opened in 2015, Crescent Park Community Garden is located at the corner of 128th St and 25th Ave on property owned by the operator of Kiwanis Park Place (to which it is adjacent). The garden has fifty-four leased plots, along with two additional plots tended by pupils at Crescent Park Elementary. There’s a food sharing plot, several communally-tended vegetable plots, beehives and birdhouses for pollinators, a pergola with a picnic table and benches, a garden shed, compost boxes, and a pathway skirting the edge of the one acre site.

Why does Alex House have community gardens?

Our two gardens are central to our mission to engage and develop community through programs and activities which invite people to connect. At the same time, the gardens provide participating families and food bank patrons with a local source of fresh, organically-grown produce, helping to enhance nutritional well-being. Participants enjoy benefits to their physical and mental health through the activity of gardening; and the gardening community grows together through social gatherings and work parties to maintain and beautify this shared resource, held in trust for gardeners yet-to-come.

In addition to all of these benefits, our community gardens are also venues for education and engagement. Each include volunteer certified Master Gardeners, who provide information and advice to plot-holders on best practices. Gardeners are encouraged and empowered to engage with the community beyond the gardens, in order to advocate for food security, greenspace protection, and the development of more community gardens in Surrey and White Rock.

In these and many other ways, community gardening contributes to the health and well-being of individuals, neighbourhoods, the larger community, and – by extension – the world.

How do I get involved?

People join community gardens for a lot of different reasons: to expand the room they have to garden, to be part of a larger community, to have a venue to volunteer for a healthy, outdoor activity or for all these and other reasons!

Plots in our garden are leased annually, with application forms being made available in February. New applicants pay a nominal deposit pending acceptance of their application – and the fees are $25/year, plus membership in Alexandra Neighbourhood House ($10/individual, $8/senior or student). Kiwanis Park Place residents applying to garden at Crescent Park Community Garden pay a flat annual fee of $15.

If you would like to learn more or get on the waitlist to receive an application for the upcoming community garden season, contact communityprograms@alexhouse.net, or 604-535-0015 ext 236.

The power of community! Volunteers recently tackled a construction project building a cob shed.

Crescent Park Community Garden

 After years of planning, Crescent Park Community Garden was built by dedicated volunteers who hauled crushed gravel, laid down mulch, and built garden boxes and compost bins to create a gem of a community garden in the heart of Ocean Park.

Alexandra Community Garden

 

Alexandra Community Garden consists of thirty plots, leased on an annual basis to members of the community. It is located in a small park, privately owned by Alex House, across the street from the facility in Crescent Beach. 

 

 For more information on our community garden please email communityprograms@alexhouse.net.

Volunteer Master Gardeners and mentors, Patti Chabot and Kathy Starke.

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