Community Garden in Oaklands

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February 23, 2020 Update

The OCA has submitted an initial design to the City of Victoria. The Parks and Transportation Department will be providing their feedback shortly. Once we have received their feedback and made any necessary changes the design will be posted here. The design will also be emailed to the existing mailing list - including those who have completed the online survey and provided their email address. We hope to present the Oswald Park Community Garden proposal to city Council In March 2020. 


The Oaklands Community Association (OCA) is considering possible locations to build a community garden in the Oaklands neighbourhood. Currently, a group of volunteers is investigating the possibility of a community garden in Oswald Park. The OCA’s vision is to create an enhanced public space where children can cultivate an appreciation for nature’s bounty, where neighbours of all ages rub shoulders, and where those without land can grow healthy food. At this stage of the project, the OCA is looking for community input to help shape a community garden project that is a good fit for our neighbourhood.  


  

  • The design includes both an allotment garden and a commons garden
  • Membership of the allotment garden would be administered by the Oaklands Community Association 
  • The garden would be maintained by allotment-holders and community volunteers 
  • The allotment garden would have 20–30 plots, including several accessible raised beds 
  • The commons garden could include native, edible and pollinator plants and flowers 
  • Other features include a deer fence, tool shed, compost bins, benches, and community gathering space 


Your involvement in this process is important! What do you think of having community garden in Oswald Park? Would you like to help with the design? Would you like to volunteer to help build the garden?  Would you like to be on our email list for updates on next steps? Let us know!


The following contains background information on the Oaklands Community Garden project, along with maps to illustrate the total potential footprint and location of community garden being considered in Oswald Park.  In August 2019 the Oaklands Community association submitted an Expression of Interest to the City of Victoria for a garden in Oswald Park. The feedback was positive. We are moving forward with community consultation. 


The consultation period will be open from January 1 , 2020 – February 15, 2020. Your feedback on the idea of having a community garden within Oswald Park is important, and you are invited to be in touch in the following ways:


Participate in the design workshop: Sunday, January 19, 2020, 3-6pm, Oaklands Community Centre (Facebook event here)
View the proposed designs at the design open house: Sunday, February 2, 2020, 1-4pm, Oaklands Community Centre

Complete the online survey: bit.ly/oswaldpark  


Phone: 250-370-9101 ext. 4

Email: community@oaklandsca.com 

City of Victoria Parks Department: parks@victoria.ca 


Background Information and Vision

  

The City of Victoria is committed to “increase food production on public land including increasing community gardens in all neighbourhoods in the city, and building urban food systems into our parks operations”, and this goal appears in the City’s current Strategic Plan (Strategic Objective #5: Health, Well-Being and a Welcoming City, pg. 20). As part of the City’s ongoing community gardening initiative, the Oakland Community Association has secured funding to build a community garden in our neighbourhood. 


For more information on the process of initiating a community garden, and the City of Victoria’s requirements and regulations please visit “Building a Community Garden on City Land.”  The OCA greatly appreciates the support and expertise of the City of Victoria staff during our planning process.  Community surveys and early visioning exercises to date have helped our group form the following vision of a community garden in Oaklands:

 

The vision for a community garden in Oaklands is a garden that includes both common garden areas and 20-30 individual allotment gardens. Allotment gardens would be raised beds gardens that would be rented and maintained by individuals. There would be a percentage of wheelchair accessible beds. The common garden would have a native and pollinator plants and edible perennials (ie. berry bushes and small fruit trees) with educational signage so that people strolling through the park could stop to nibble on berries, cut a sprig of herbs for their dinner, and perhaps gather some flowers for their table. We envision flower-lined entryways and paths, a wheelchair-accessible main path and beds. We would also like to incorporate a teaching area that could be used by local schools, colleges, and community groups. The gardens would have deer fencing with unlocked gates, and would be designed with open sightlines to ensure public safety.  The garden would not impact the use of the existing basketball court or the walking paths. It would however, require the relocation of the volleyball polls. We are working with the City to determine a good location for the volleyball posts to be relocated to. 


See the August 5, 2019 article by Vic News about a potential community garden in Oaklands!


See the January 19, 2020 follow up article by Vic News about our workshop and upcoming proposal. 


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FAQ

 1. What is the current status of the Oaklands Neighbourhood Community Garden plan?

The Oaklands Community Association has secured funding to build a community garden our neighbourhood. The initial design has been submitted to the City of Victoria for feedback from the Parks and Transportation Department. 


2. Who would operate the Oaklands Neighbourhood Community Garden?

The Oaklands Community Association would operate this community garden. Volunteer Coordinator Grants are available from the City of Victoria, for community gardens that are in compliance the City’s Community Garden Policy.


3. How will the shortage of parking be addressed in the design?

We have heard from local residents and park users that parking is in short supply at Oswald Park. There are several actions we are taking to limit the garden's potential impact on parking at Oswald Park. These are:

- Designate the majority of the allotment beds "car free" and include in the Policy and Procedures that gardeners do not park in residential only parking areas. 

-  Request that the Transportation Department investigate introducing a time limit to the Oswald Road parking lot for non-residential vehicles. 

- Request the City Install a bicycle rack at the north end of Oswald Park. 

- Request that the Transportation Department designate a wheelchair accessible parking space. 


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FAQ

4. Will the Garden be fenced?

 Based on the current design, the majority of the garden space will be within a City approved deer fence. There will be four unlocked gates as well as two gathering spaces outside of the garden space. 


5. How will the garden affect current park use?

The community garden will not affect the off leash dog area, playground, multi-sport trail and pathways, or the hockey/basketball court. We have requested that the City investigate swapping the basketball hoop to the south end of the court. We have also requested that the City find a new location nearby or in Oswald Park for the existing volleyball posts. 


6. Who could use the Oaklands Neighbourhood Community Garden?

The community garden can include both common garden areas and allotment garden areas. All community members will be welcome to use common areas. Allotment garden areas would be rented to individuals, in accordance with the City of Victoria’s User Agreement policy for Community Gardens.


7. What are the next steps and how can I get involved in the project?

Provide your feedback on the proposed community garden by calling 250-370-9101 ext. 4, or via email at community@oaklandsca.com.

Potential Community Garden Location Options

OSWALD PARK

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PROPOSED COMMUNITY GARDEN LOCATION: OSWALD PARK 

(3000 Block Cedar Hill Road)
The green footprint outlines the total potential footprint of the community garden.  The proposed location of the community garden lies to the north of the basketball court within the walking path that circles Oswald Park.