Community gardens get big green thumbs up in Kelowna
Infotel By John McDonald June 2, 2015
KELOWNA - Better support for community gardens, both public and private, can happen if there is a better understanding of what food security means for the community.
City staff hope to provide a better understanding by amending the food security policy in the official community plan and the zoning bylaw.
“This is turning a landscape buffer into functional, useable outdoor space — creating productivity,” Coun. Luke Stack says, praising the social function the 11 public community gardens in Kelowna provide.
Eight of these gardens are located on city-owned land and all are managed by the Central Okanagan Community Garden Society. The society says there is a waiting list of more than 200 people for garden plots.
There are also eight private gardens located in multi-family residential complexes and another three at local extended care facilities.
“Most of these people go to meet their neighbours, create friendships. The reality is it's a community that comes out of these gardens,” Stack says.
Urban planning manager Ryan Smith told council staff are recommending developers be allowed to swap 10 per cent of private amenity space (such as balconies or rooftop patios) in multi-residential projects for a shared garden space. As well, a one-metre strip of the current three-metre rear yard setback can be exchanged for garden space.
The current definition of food security looks to ensure all community residents have access to sufficient, safe, healthy and culturally acceptable foods produced in a manner that promotes health, protects the environment and adds economic and social value to communities. Council quickly passed first reading of all the related official community plan and zoning bylaw amendments.
What a perfect day for a parade! Mayor and Council delivered roses to the ladies along the parade route. There were lots of people inattendance and lots of smiles. L-R Councillors Maxine Dehart (in golf cart) Luke Stack; Ryan Donn, Gail Given, Brad Sieban; Tracy Gray and Mayor Colin. Basran.
To kick off the event the "Political Possee" played a few tunes as well. Lots of fun by all.
The Kelowna Christian School undertook a very interesting project. Students were challenged to come up with ideas on how to best employ Agricultural land beside the school. Teams of students formed, and then learned about the Agricultural Land Reserve and how the Commission makes decisions. They had to learn how to use farmland to its highest and best use within existing rules and regulations. I had a chance to view many of the proposals. I was very impressed with how the students approached the challenge. There were many creative ideas generated. Here are a few models the students created.
Thanks to Mr. Brent MacAthur and his colleages for putting this great project together. Personally, I was inspired by the creative energy in the room. Thanks also to Mr. Todd Cashin, from the City of Kelowna, who also helped the students navigate the agricultural rules and regulations.
Today we celebrated the sod turning of the new SPCA horse stable in Kelowna. This new facility will provide 6 stalls to assist horses in SPCA care. The Province of BC, represented by Minister Letnick and Minister Thomson funded $5 million toward a $50 million fund raising campaign for capital improvements through out the province. Congrats to Suzanne Pugh and the SPCA for their leadership in caring for animals.