District of Vanderhoof - Message

March 2013

Community gardens - farm to school - creating community

It is always a pleasure to announce when something good happens in the community. Over the past few months the Community Garden group, part of the Nechako Healthy Community Alliance, has been looking for a new home for their community garden. They have outgrown their current location at the museum and wanted to find a site that was more central and had better access for the community.

At our March 11 Regular Meeting of Council we were pleased to be able to approve entering into an agreement with School District 91 to take a piece of vacant land and turn it into a community garden. The end result will be a three way community agreement with SD 91, the District of Vanderhoof and the Nechako Healthy Community Alliance.

The project also includes WL McLeod Elementary school who, when they are not working on their ‘flash mob’ on Anti Bullying Day or the Wizard of Oz, have also created a Farm to School Salad Bar Program. With funding from the Omineca Beetle Action Coalition and New Gold through partnerships with local farmers and Northern Health, Farm to School is a program that provides nutritious salad bar style hot lunches, focusing on utilizing as much local food as possible, is provided to students at minimal cost. One of the plans of the Farm to School program was to work on a community garden to help students to understand the value of growing home grown garden produce. This initiative demonstrates what can happen when diverse groups work together on the goal of a healthy community.

It was great to see when you get all these groups together you can find the perfect solution. The community garden will be built on View Street, close to the school, on the banks of the Nechako River and certainly in public view. It so happens that I believe this may be the exact location of my Mom’s garden about sixty years ago (she may have been encroaching on public land). I know things can grow here!

Vanderhoof has a wonderful spirit, when you see such a diverse group of organizations like the Nechako Healthy Community Alliance, School District 91, Northern Health who provided a grant, District of Vanderhoof, who found the site and will install water, WL McLeod School and a host of others all working together to create a community garden. The garden promotes community through growing great produce, providing first hand educational opportunities and promoting community pride for a long time to come.

It makes me proud to be from Vanderhoof.
~ Mayor Gerry Thiessen