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Victoria’s seedling sharing program earns provincial excellence award

The Get Growing, Victoria! program has produced 100,000 pounds of community produce since 2020
A collection day for the Get Growing, Victoria! program in the Fernwood neighbourhood. (Photo courtesy of Aly Sibley Photography/City of Victoria)

The City of Victoria’s Get Growing, Victoria! program has earned the city the BC Recreation and Parks Association’s Program Excellence Award.

The Get Growing program has provided non-profit organizations with vegetable seedlings grown in the city’s Beacon Hill Park nursery, which are then given to Victoria communities and residents who face barriers to growing their own food.

Since beginning in 2020, the program has produced an estimated 100,000 pounds of fresh produce annually, according to a release. The opportunity provides horticultural therapy for mental health support groups and gardening and food access programs for community kitchens.

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“The City of Victoria’s Get Growing Victoria program is a highly deserving recipient of the BCRPA Program Excellence Award. This innovative food security program is built out of a model of education and empowerment that directly improves individual and community-level social and physical well-being,” said Rebecca Tunnacliffe, CEO of the BC Recreation and Parks Association, in a release.

The Program Excellence Award is one of five provincial Awards of Excellence given during the Recreation and Parks Association’s annual symposium conference in Whistler. Each award is presented on behalf of over 4,000 recreation and parks sector members from across B.C.

An honourable mention was given to the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation for their All Bodies Community (ABC) program.

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The Recreation and Parks Association is a provincial non-profit centred on enriching and improving the quality of life of British Columbians through their namesake.

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