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Roberts Creek garden gets funding boost

Cedar Grove Elementary gardens will also benefit
N.Legacy Garden 2
The entrance from the Legacy Garden to Roberts Creek Elementary School.

Roberts Creek Community School Society is receiving up to $26,000 in federal funding to improve its Legacy Garden. Part of the funds will also be used to top up existing garden beds at Cedar Grove Elementary.

The Legacy Garden funding will be used to install deer and cedar fencing, garden beds, wheelchair-accessible pathways and two fully-accessible raised beds.

Thanks to the funding, “food production is anticipated to increase more than four-fold with all usable Legacy Garden space protected from deer and fully developed fertile garden beds ready for cultivation at both schools,” said a statement released by the society following the May 21 announcement.

The Legacy Garden project, which sits on a half-acre of land next to the elementary school in the heart of the Creek, began about 10 years ago, and is recognizable by its post and beam pavilion, which has been a “huge asset” during the pandemic, said the statement.

The garden serves as a learning space for students and community, and as COVID-19 restrictions relax, students are expected to plant and maintain the garden and be “part of a farm to table experience as they learn how to prepare healthy food from garden produce,” the release said.

“As production ramps up, watch for these young gardeners at local farmers markets where excess Legacy Garden produce will be sold. A portion of the bounty will also be made available to vulnerable community members.”

Future infrastructure plans for the garden include adding a willow hut, benches, and permaculture features.

At the announcement, MP Patrick Weiler thanked the community group’s work to address food insecurity and build community during the pandemic.

The grant comes from the federal government’s $50-million Local Food Infrastructure Fund that supports community-led projects such as food banks and community gardens.

Less than three per cent of food consumed on the Coast is produced on the Coast.

Weiler also acknowledged other major donors involved in the process.

There are five non-profit community schools on the Coast, which support School District No. 46 students with services and in- and out-of-school programming.