Saturday, January 1, 2011

Community Garden Policy

Michigan Street Gardens, James Bay

Did you know that the City of Victoria has had a Community Gardens policy in place for over 5 years? It was released in Sept, 2005 and has the following policy goals:

  • To recognize the need for community gardens
  • To establish community gardens throughout the City on public or private lands, where feasible.
  • To recognize the value of community gardens, as a public amenity, in land use redevelopment.
  • To encourage backyard, rooftop and workplace gardening to complement community gardens, as ways to promote more greening of the City.
  • To maintain existing community gardens and protect local food production.

Somebody wrote up a bit of background information for the policy. Here's what they have to say about Victoria, worth reading in full.

Population projections of Victoria suggest growth and interest particularly in the older age groups (baby boomers) who like to garden. Gardening is the top leisure activity for 80% of households according to Statistics Canada. More households will be living in multiple family housing which generates great demand for community gardens. In addition, the CRD's Regional Growth Strategy promotes increased densification of the core municipalities and de-emphasizes single detached housing. There in the future there will be more demand for gardens and less land available, as fewer residents will not have their own backyards in which to garden.

Although this may not be comfortable reading for everyone (baby boomers are now in the older age group?), it's just a fact that the future of urban life means more density--and that's not a bad thing. Single-family homeowners are by far the minority in Fairfield-Gonzales. Can we say that the neighbourhood public spaces are a good reflection of that? What do you think?

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