Saanich runs risk of no community garden

Re: Group pushes for community garden in Royal Oak, (News, June 12)

Re: Group pushes for community garden in Royal Oak, (News, June 12)

Saanich Allotment Garden Advocates (SAGA) will work with Saanich and residents to get a public community garden up and running in Royal Oak, at any site approved by residents and Saanich council.

Our focus is not on any one site in any one area, but to promote community gardening across Saanich.

This particular site (between Royal Oak Centre and the Pat Bay Highway) appears to have strong Royal Oak community and business support for “green” use.

At a meeting in 2013, the membership of Royal Oak Community Association (ROCA) voted 17 to 3 on a motion to request Saanich include this site on its list of potential contenders for a community garden. More people who could not attend the meeting wrote in to express support.

This is definitely not members being “indifferent at best” as reported by ROCA president Paul Whitworth, or “Royal Oak (Community Association) doesn’t support it,” as quoted by Mayor Frank Leonard.

ROCA executive may not support consideration of the site, but the membership definitely does.

At one time, even Saanich considered this site for “green” use, hiring CitySpaces Consultants to engage residents in discussion.

Recently, Saanich did propose a potential site for a community garden in Royal Oak, on land adjacent to Commonwealth Place.

Results of a survey done by Saanich (open to anyone anywhere) apparently show a majority of respondents do not support that site for a garden; and Saanich will not proceed.

Nor, it seems, will Saanich consider a site residents do show approval of. The end result is no community garden in Royal Oak.

Marsha Henderson

Saanich Allotment Garden Advocates