My name is Zoë Mager and alongside my housemate Chris Fretwell and other inhabitants of 1702 Belmont, we have put a huge amount of effort, resources and seeds into a boulevard garden on the green space at the intersecting corner of Belmont, Begbie and Grant streets. One of the many of our neighbours who enjoys and supports our gardening initiative there named this space Kale Corner. We have made every effort to keep the space clean, safe, aesthetically pleasing, away from sidewalks as not to obstruct any walking paths. Truly a labour of love, the gardens have been admired by many a neighbour walking their dog or biking with their children. This morning a city worker came by and without any notice began deconstructing the raised bed that we created there. They took away the driftwood that contained our beds and warned that they would come back to re-seed the 3 truckloads of earth that had been brought. After speaking with him and being told that our food garden was a liability, he directed us to Gord Smith, Parks Operations Manager.
We are asking for the support of city council to halt the dismantling of the garden and permit the use of the green space for this community garden initiative. As well, we are asking our gardening allies and those with a passion for taking back the commons and growing food in public space to stand up next to us. There will be a petition at Simple Remedies on Cook St. and hopefully at the Cornerstone Café starting this weekend. Also feel free to come check out the space. This weekend we will be erecting a large poster and petition on the fence at Kale Corner. There will be a City Council meeting going on tomorrow night as well. You can try and sign up to be on the speakers list http://www.victoria.ca/cityhall/council-address-form.aspx The sign up is supposed to happen by 11 am on the Wednesday before but since the deconstruction began this morning, that was not possible.
Attached is the Urban Agriculture Resolution act passed in 1997
Thanks for your solidarity folks and feel free to contact us if you have any ideas or words of wisdom on the matter.
Zoë Mager: firstname.lastname@example.org
Philipe Lucas: email@example.com 250-361-0217 @ City Hall or 250-216-5433 (cell)