Letter to the Editor for Hillside-Quadra Community News (Victoria), April 2006
I am writing to congratulate residents of Hillside-Quadra on their efforts to establish a community garden.
For years, neighbourhood residents have lobbied public officials to make land available for this important community use. The efforts of PATH (Promoting Action Toward Health) and NAG (Neighbourhood Action Group) are finally paying off, with a garden anticipated for the Wark Street Playlot Park.
While it is disappointing that School District 61 missed the opportunity to provide land at the Blanshard School site and the Warehouse site on Quadra Street, the Wark Street garden will provide a solid foundation for future expansion. The S.J. Willis School field comes to mind as a good location for an allotment garden. Community members will have to remain vigilant, however, to ensure this public land remains in public hands.
The benefits of locally grown food are numerous, and become more obvious all the time. Preparing, planting, maintaining and harvesting garden plots is a healthy lifestyle choice. Eating fresh, pesticide-free produce has many health benefits. As the price of fossil fuels and transportation continues to rise, local agriculture provides the only guarantee of a stable, affordable food supply. From the social and environmental standpoint, community gardening is the smart choice.
Quadra-Hillside is laying the foundation for a secure and prosperous future, extending the benefits of gardening to renters and residents of multiple-family dwellings who may not have access to land.
Keep up the great work!