Community garden sprouts up in Robson Valley

April 6, 2023

Photos: MDPLA

In June 2021, McBride & District Public Library Association (MDPLA) was approved for a $28,952 Community Places grant to support the transformation of an empty lot into a community garden. The ambitious project contains multiple phases, with the first including the creation of an outdoor meeting room pergola area, fenced children’s area, landscaping and accessible walkways.

“We’re grateful that we were able to create a beautiful multi-purpose space out of an unused plot of land in McBride to benefit our entire community,” said Abi Ward, library director, MDPLA. “Beyond beautifying the area, this project has also created year-round learning opportunities for patrons, encouraging people of all ages to be curious about plants, wildlife and the changing seasons.”

The new community garden and outdoor gathering space is the only green space at the north end of McBride where residents and visitors can sit or play outside on public property.

“Green spaces and community gardens are known to increase property values and resident/visitor spending, while also helping boost public health and wellness,” said Ward. “Parks and open spaces also create social equity, as a free place for people of all generations to enjoy. It is our belief that a community space such as this, in close proximity to the elementary school, seniors’ housing complex, hospital and local businesses will provide a safe, green gathering space for all to enjoy.”

The new space also provides library staff with an option to expand into offering outdoor programs, increasing visits to the library and patron participation.

The $54,522 project received $28,952 from Northern Development through the Community Places funding program. Introduced in September 2020, the Community Places program supports the creation, restoration or enhancement of community spaces that will improve amenities and enhance overall quality of life.