DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The Dawson Creek Community Gardens held a grand opening ceremony on Saturday morning after the garden’s relocation and reconstruction earlier this year.
The community gardens provide a space for community members to grow their own fruits, flowers, and vegetables. The rain on the morning of the grand opening dampened the soil of the garden plots but not the spirits of the attendees excited to celebrate the official completion of the beautiful space.
Previously, the community garden made its home on the Dawson Creek and District Hospital grounds. The district hospital will be replaced in the next few years, and will use land that the community garden had partially occupied.
After “momentary heart failure” upon hearing about the new hospital’s need of the land, Fern Hansen, the head of the Dawson Creek Community Garden Society, explained that they found a new home on the corner of the Northern Lights College campus in Dawson Creek, only a short distance from the original site.
Hansen thanked several community contributors for their help moving and rejuvenating the gardens. Northern Health’s hospital replacement team for the new hospital and Northern Lights College were vital in the process, as were the construction and design firms that helped bring the garden to life again.
“They were fabulous,” Hansen said, speaking to the small crowd that had gathered for the casual ceremony. “They were absolutely wonderful to work with.”
The City of Dawson Creek also proclaimed 2022 the year of the garden in February, and donated some bark mulch for the plots.
Other organizations and businesses in the city made contributions to the project as well.
The Community Garden now consists entirely of 65 raised beds. The beds, most about knee-height, make gardening more accessible to anyone with mobility issues.
The new gardens are also fenced in to protect the flowers, fruits and vegetables—as well as important equipment—from vandalism, which was a problem at the former site and has been an issue at similar gardens in the region.
All the beds are rented for the season and many are already producing small crops of lettuce, herbs, and potatoes—with plenty more to come.
The beds can be rented for $25 a season.