On April 14, View Royal council members agreed that community gardens will remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic due to public health and safety concerns. (Black Press Media file photo)

On April 14, View Royal council members agreed that community gardens will remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic due to public health and safety concerns. (Black Press Media file photo)

View Royal community gardens to remain closed during COVID-19 pandemic

Community members advocate for gardens to re-open as growing season begins

Community Gardens in View Royal remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite letters sent to council in support of opening them.

At the April 14 special council meeting, council discussed various topics related to the gardens and minutes from the meeting show the community gardens will remain closed based on requirements for public health and safety.

A letter from the View Royal Community Park Garden Society president Ron Wedman expressed that the growing season has begun and that the society is willing to help “sort out and refine issues related to physical distancing and other procedures to prevent the spread of the virus.”

READ ALSO: Victoria’s community garden plots a hot commodity

A letter from Jennifer Freeman, a food garden educator and consultant at the Westshore Centre for Learning as well as a member of the Victoria Urban Food Table Advisory Board, also asked View Royal to re-open the gardens.

“Community gardens are considered an essential service and they are a huge sense of security for people who use them,” Freeman’s letter says. “Having access to your own garden can be a safer experience of providing healthy fruits and vegetables for oneself during this time, with less people touching them and more distance between users.”

Freeman also offered suggestions to keep gardens safe such as closing the tool shed, designating alternate days for users and posting signage to remind others about physical distancing requirements.

Freeman points out that other municipalities, including the City of Victoria, are keeping community gardens open.

A letter on behalf of Paula Mueller and Lynn Freeman, individuals with a community garden plot in View Royal, says the plots are well-spaced and that physical distancing is easy to do in the gardens.

READ ALSO: View Royal community garden set to expand

“In the two years that I have had my plot, I rarely have seen anyone there at the same time,” Mueller writes.

She says many seniors, including herself, rely on gardens to help them out financially.

A Facebook post from Mayor David Screech from April 4 says he was “astounded by the phone calls and e-mails” he received in reaction to the closure of community gardens.

It goes on to say Screech went on a “fact finding mission” and found the garden beds are 39 inches apart, under the six foot physical distancing mandate set by the province.

“Frankly, I don’t care what other jurisdictions have done,” Screech says in the post.

“Once again I am confident that by the time gardening season begins that we can figure out some protocols and policies to see them open. Please allow us the time to do that.”

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusgardeningTown of View Royal

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria police are asking for help locating Izabel Villeneuve, 14, who was last seen Jan. 19. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police seek help locating missing 14-year-old

Izabel Villeneuve was last seen in the morning of Jan. 19

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Vancouver Island this weekend

Snow on Malahat to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Jan. 21 marks the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, according to some. (Black Press Media file photo)
The 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century is upon us – maybe

Milestone won’t be back for another 100 years

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Reader’s Lens
The surf’s up at Whiffin Spit. Joan Stiebel snapped this photo on a recent windy day in Sooke. To submit a photo to Reader’s Lens, please email editor@sookenewsmirror.com. (Contributed photo)
Reader’s Lens

Reader’s Lens The surf’s up at Whiffin Spit. Joan Stiebel snapped this… Continue reading

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Mowi Canada West’s Sheep Pass salmon farm, the company’s final B.C. operation to receive certification from the Aquaculture Steward Council. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is questioning a government decision to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada West)
Canadian Federation of Agriculture backs B.C. salmon farmers

Letter to prime minister calls for federal “champion” for aquaculture growth

Most Read