A vision for Saanich community gardens

In February, Saanich proposed a community garden behind Commonwealth Place.

In February, Saanich proposed a community garden behind Commonwealth Place.

The plan would convert an open field to gardens in two phases, eliminating uses by kids, athletics and neighbours’ dog-walking.

Residents and parents resisted. And community garden proponents have a different vision from Saanich’s proposed plan.

It is a vision both larger and smaller, while supporting youth athletics and dog-walking with focus on community-building.

The smaller Commonwealth garden site (less than half the proposed field) would focus on special aspects: Teaching and youth programs; persons with accessibility restrictions; limited space for family gardens.

This is Phase 1 of an integrated vision. Phase 2 is a larger Cordwood Heritage Park in the field across from Royal Oak shopping centre.

Community visions for the Cordwood include: A handsome streetscape along West Saanich Road with fruit and nut trees including native and heritage varieties; terraced interior with vegetable gardens for more than 100 families; protecting a vista onto the historic Maltwood estate and a heritage park recalling the 1910 Cordwood (Victoria & Sidney) railway.

This has support of Royal Oak residents, businesses, church, community association members, service clubs and many others.

We see this integrated vision building a vibrant, connected, resilient, shared Royal Oak with greater opportunities for all.

Greg Holloway

Saanich