Tracy Holmes photo Lesley Tannen (left), general manager at Crescent Housing Society, and Neil Fernyhough, manager of community projects for Alexandra Neighbourhood House, watch as garden members Susan Jensen and Andrea McCorkell pull weeds from one of the beds.

Life of South Surrey community garden extended

Housing society commits space for another five years

Support for Crescent Park Community Garden continues to blossom, and those who planted its seeds and continue to tend to its fruits – and vegetables, and bee hive, and trails and herb garden – couldn’t be happier.

Last month, Crescent Housing Society committed to renew its lease of the one-acre site to CPCG for five years, at $1 per year, as well as pay the taxes on it for that period. The first term was a two-year commitment.

“I think they recognize it as a community partnership,” CHS general manager Lesley Tannen explained last week of the society board’s decision.

“Vacant lots in Surrey are sort of prone to misuse,” she added. “We’re just happy to see it well-used.”

The 56-plot garden was built on a one-acre site at 128 Street and 25 Avenue, just north of Crescent Park Elementary, and behind Kiwanis Park Place.

Operated by Alexandra Neighbourhood House, it was initiated by gardeners who got involved with the Alexandra Community Garden, a 30-plot project that launched in 2012 in a small park owned by ANH in Crescent Beach.

The gardeners wanted to increase the area’s community-garden capacity, said Neil Fernyhough, ANH’s manager of community projects.

Fernyhough described community gardens as an “amazing” way of bringing people together. As well, they’ve been proven to create happier, healthier individuals and communities.

“It brings people of diverse backgrounds together around a shared passion… and then they form a community around that,” Fernyhough said.

Henry Lazar, Susan Jensen, Chris Roulson and Andrea McCorkell were among CPCG members who were at the site Friday.

Lazar, who was doing some cleanup, described his plot as “my little project.”

Beets, beans and pumpkins were among his plantings this year – while the beets were “quite small,” the beans were a success, he said – and he’s experimenting with kale for the winter.

“I’m going to over-winter it, just to see what happens,” he said.

He said the garden, which he usually cycles to, is “the first time I’ve sort of made a conscientious effort to grow stuff.”

Susan Jensen said she and her husband, Richard, both enjoy being involved – adding or tending to infrastructure, weeding, watering and more.

“It’s something we can do together,” she said. “And it’s fun getting to know everybody here.”

Garden committee member Andrea McCorkell noted the site has come a long way.

“Originally, this was just all brush, and a lot – a lot – of blackberry bushes,” McCorkell said.

Now, in addition to members’ own plots – each pays a $35 annual fee – there is one dedicated for Sources’ food bank, and two for Crescent Park Elementary students. Ten plots are wheelchair accessible; another two along the garden’s exterior fences – one on the east side and the other on the south – are for sharing with the public.

Fernyhough noted that of the 75 or so gardeners involved in the community garden, about one in five are tenants of Kiwanis Park Place, which is owned and operated by Crescent Housing Society.

Tannen said everyone, regardless of age or ability, benefits from opportunities to be outside, and “the fact that it’s right next door is great.”

Getting dirty, she added, “addresses the child within.”

Fernyhough said while he would “love” to plant more community gardens, there are no immediate plans to expand on what is already in place.

“We now have four community gardens in a three-kilometre radius in this area, and that’s amazing for any neighbourhood,” he said.

For more information or to be added to the waiting list for a garden plot, contact Fernyhough at 604-535-0015, ext. 236.

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

 

Susan Jensen tends to her tomato plants Friday at Crescent Park Community Garden. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Some of the “fruits” of gardeners’ labour. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Just Posted

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

Surrey school district proposing 13 new schools in the next decade

Staff suggest new designs for future builds to maximize school space

Delta McDonald’s temporarily closed after employees test positive for COVID-19

Two employees at the Annacis Island location (1285 Cliveden Ave.) reported testing positive on Sept. 18

Two Surrey schools report COVID-19 exposures, including second contact for Panorama Ridge

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

Surrey school district student enrolment down from projections

‘That’s not something I can say in my time in Surrey, I have ever said at the board table’: superintendent

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read