On April 14, View Royal council members agreed that community gardens will remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic due to public health and safety concerns. (Black Press Media file photo)

View Royal community gardens to remain closed during COVID-19 pandemic

Community members advocate for gardens to re-open as growing season begins

Community Gardens in View Royal remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite letters sent to council in support of opening them.

At the April 14 special council meeting, council discussed various topics related to the gardens and minutes from the meeting show the community gardens will remain closed based on requirements for public health and safety.

A letter from the View Royal Community Park Garden Society president Ron Wedman expressed that the growing season has begun and that the society is willing to help “sort out and refine issues related to physical distancing and other procedures to prevent the spread of the virus.”

READ ALSO: Victoria’s community garden plots a hot commodity

A letter from Jennifer Freeman, a food garden educator and consultant at the Westshore Centre for Learning as well as a member of the Victoria Urban Food Table Advisory Board, also asked View Royal to re-open the gardens.

“Community gardens are considered an essential service and they are a huge sense of security for people who use them,” Freeman’s letter says. “Having access to your own garden can be a safer experience of providing healthy fruits and vegetables for oneself during this time, with less people touching them and more distance between users.”

Freeman also offered suggestions to keep gardens safe such as closing the tool shed, designating alternate days for users and posting signage to remind others about physical distancing requirements.

Freeman points out that other municipalities, including the City of Victoria, are keeping community gardens open.

A letter on behalf of Paula Mueller and Lynn Freeman, individuals with a community garden plot in View Royal, says the plots are well-spaced and that physical distancing is easy to do in the gardens.

READ ALSO: View Royal community garden set to expand

“In the two years that I have had my plot, I rarely have seen anyone there at the same time,” Mueller writes.

She says many seniors, including herself, rely on gardens to help them out financially.

A Facebook post from Mayor David Screech from April 4 says he was “astounded by the phone calls and e-mails” he received in reaction to the closure of community gardens.

It goes on to say Screech went on a “fact finding mission” and found the garden beds are 39 inches apart, under the six foot physical distancing mandate set by the province.

“Frankly, I don’t care what other jurisdictions have done,” Screech says in the post.

“Once again I am confident that by the time gardening season begins that we can figure out some protocols and policies to see them open. Please allow us the time to do that.”

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusgardeningTown of View Royal

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters already casting their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
More than 10,000 voters have cast advance ballots in Saanich North and Islands

Only two ridings, one of them on Vancouver Island, have seen more advance voting

Police closed McNeill Avenue after a workplace death Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Tree-pruning community gathers in Oak Bay after tragic death

Crews met in solidarity at site of Tuesday incident

Some 30 people including a dozen youth participated in North Saanich’s first ever Fridays for Future protest outside of municipal hall on Mills Road Friday, according to organizers. (Anne-Marie Daniel/Submitted)
Fridays for Future plans second event for North Saanich after inaugural protest

Some 30 people attended first protest on Oct. 9 with a second one scheduled for Oct. 23

BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau says British Columbians face a choice between “false majority government” and a “more cooperative, collaborative” form of governance during a campaign stop in Saanich North and the Islands Monday (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
BC Greens leader makes pitch for minority government during stop in Saanich North and Islands

Sonia Furstenau calls on British Columbians to reject ‘false majority government’

The Skeena Queen, serving the Swartz Bay-Fulford Harbour route has been out of action since early Wednesday morning, forcing BC Ferries to cancel eight sailings connecting the Saanich Peninsula and Salt Spring Island. It is not clear when service will resume. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
UPDATED: BC Ferries cancels additional sailings to Salt Spring Island

With repairs to Skeena Queen underway, it is not clear when service will resume

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Vancouver Island First Nations back Nova Scotia’s Indigenous lobster fishermen

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council calls for action before lives are lost

Skiers line up to start the Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race. Photo by Tim Penney
Popular Comox Valley adventure race cancelled for 2021

COVID forces Comox Valley Royal LePage Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race cancellation again

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

(Pixabay)
Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

Chris Istace campaigning in Crofton. (Photo submitted)
Green Party’s Istace apologizes for remark about First Nations gaming grants being a ‘handout’

Island candidate determined to do better in thinking and communicating matters of reconciliation

Sails down, masks up for Ron and Sherry Pryde, who completed a 119 day journey that was supposed to be 70 days. (Zoe Ducklow)
Coast Guard towed rudderless sailors to Port Hardy hours before a powerful storm

Rudderless for a month, the couple zigzagged most the way home with “a few donuts and lazy-eights”

Most Read