Events to help grow a community orchard eyed for city parkland in Ocean Park and approved last summer have been set for Oct. 16 and Nov. 12.

Community orchard grows in Ocean Park

Proponents of a recently approved community orchard on City of Surrey parkland have planned two upcoming events.

Proponents of a community orchard on city land in Ocean Park are digging in with two events for the public, following approval of the proposal this summer by the City of Surrey.

Linda Stanley Wilson said anyone interested is welcome to the 12815 22 Ave. park from 3-5 p.m. on Oct. 16 for apple pressing and camaraderie, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 12 to help plant trees.

The idea of creating a community orchard in a passive grassy area of the city-owned park took root among area residents and members of local community groups about a year ago.

A city survey and two open houses determined more than 70 per cent of residents supported the idea – support that Stanley Wilson said grew even stronger through individual visits by city staff with those who expressed concern, along with some changes to the site design.

The orchard was approved in July, and the city started site preparation about two weeks ago, with beds for school groups to plant bulbs expected to get underway this week.

“It’s really coming along,” Stanley Wilson said.

Tree-planting will be the focus of the Nov. 12 event, which, in addition to digging and planting, will include music and snacks.

Stanley Wilson said the idea of the garden was to create a place that would encourage the community to gather “in a more old-fashioned sense.

“It feels like it’s a way to get people out of their houses to a space and work together,” she said.

Workshops will be hosted periodically, and the orchard will be planted in phases, she said. As well, proponents will work with those behind the Alexandra Neighbourhood House Community Garden to co-operate in soil delivery and “other big things where there is a cost involved.”

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/OceanParkOrchard/

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