One of the priorities of the City of Langley Parks and Environment Advisory Committee in 2014 was to see more community gardens built in the City. North of the Nicomekl Floodplain consists mostly of row houses, townhouses, apartments, and businesses. With limited private green-space for gardening, there was a demand for public gardening space.
One of the ironic things about living at higher densities is that people don’t get to know their neighbourhood as well. In many parts of Langley, and throughout Metro Vancouver, there isn’t a sense of ownership in neighbourhoods. Besides providing an opportunity for people to do the business of gardening, community gardens also provide an informal meeting space. This allows people to meet their neighbours. Community gardens also get people out of their homes and into the neighbourhood, providing “eye and ears” on the street. This instills a sense of ownership in a neighbourhood which works to reduce crime, and the perception of crime.
|Map of parks within the City of Langley with Linwood Park highlighted. Select map to enlarge.|
With all that in mind, I was happy that Langley City Council chose Linwood Park as the site of the second community garden in the City (the first community garden site is at Nicomekl Elementary School.)
For the day-to-day operation of the new Linwood Community Garden, the City of Langley was looking for a non-profit organization to help out. At tonight's council meeting, Council will be receiving a report from City staff who recommend that Langley Environmental Partner Society (LEPS) be the selected non-profit. LEPS already operates community gardens in the Township of Langley making it the perfect fit for the new Langley City community garden.
LEPS projects that the cost to operate the Linwood Community Garden site at $4,200 per year. They are proposing to charge $50 per plot per year, plus a $25 key deposit. LEPS will have to find an additional $1,500 per year beyond the plot and key fees to fully fund the garden site.
I’m hopefully that council will approve LEPS as the operator of the Linwood Community Garden, and will also provide a $1,500 grant to LEPS for the operation of the site.