Nanaimo Community Gardens Society is getting new greenhouses after receiving $40,000 in a co-op contest.
The funding was received from the Co-op Community Spaces Program, which was launched this past spring to donate $1 million this year to fund projects related to recreation, environmental conservation and urban agriculture across Western Canada. The Nanaimo society’s greenhouse project is one of 16 being funded this year.
Ian Anderson, General Manager of the Mid-Island Co-op, says the society was chosen based on several factors, such as how long it would take to complete the project. He says the co-op is pleased to support the society.
“We knew there would be an opportunity to be involved long term,” he says. “We look forward to the completed project, which will be a great place to come together as a community.”
Community Gardens is also a finalist for an additional $25,000 in the Community Spaces contest to be determined by online voting from Sept. 14-25.
Community Gardens administrator Lee Sanmiya says the $40,000 allows the society to build new greenhouses at the former lawn bowling greens at Beban Park as Nanaimo City Council approved a lease for Oct. 1.
The society has operated a greenhouse in Nanaimo for almost two decades on land owned by the Regional District of Nanaimo. The RDN is expanding their facility and had given the society notice to look for new space.
Sanmiya says the new space was part of ongoing negotiations with the city and is centrally located to help promote what the society offers.
“This site is ideal, it’s already level,” says Sanmiya. “It will reduce expenses.”
The site is already fenced and has outbuildings with plenty of space to build two new greenhouses.
The new site will allow the society to expand its education programs, offer insights about local food production to more community members and school groups as well as produce vegetable, herb and edible flower seedlings that will be donated to community organizations, schools and sold to local residents.
“With the additional $25,000 we might be able to save costs overall,” says Sanmiya.
It would allow the society to purchase the two greenhouses right away and save on shipping costs.
“Even if we can just get them shipped here, it will save on thousands and thousands,” says Sanmiya.