The Sunriver Community Garden “is a sanctuary and everyone feels that when they come here.” Those are the sentiments of our MLA John Horgan. He was present at the first Harvest Feast on Sunday and his comments were right on the mark. Apparently a lot of other people thought so too.
More than 250 people came together to enjoy the harvest season at the garden on Sunday. Phoebe Dunbar, one of the visionaries of the allotment garden, said they were a victim of their own success as she hustled about taking care of things. If this community needs anything done, just ask a person like Phoebe. She is not alone though. There is something about gardens that brings out the best in people. The community garden is building community more than any other event or place in Sooke. This is one initiative of the last council that is one huge success. Future councils need to build on this and look at ways of getting community gardens in other areas of Sooke. It should be a mandatory amenity asked for from large developments, if there is the land for it.
It also brings home the fact that we need to ensure our agricultural/growing lands are preserved. We cannot give over arable land to houses and concrete parking lots. We need natural fields and pastures as green space.
The template is there, it works and Sooke could become the model for community building. We can make it happen, all it takes is a vision and the will… and a little land from the developers.