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Already a wait list for PoCo’s newest community garden

BEFORE & AFTER The Centennial Community Garden is getting ready to open next week in Port Coquitlam’s Central Park. Right, the part of the park before work began last year. Below and bottom, the garden as it was this week, thanks to the efforts of dozens of volunteers (second from bottom) and $22,500 in grant money.  - SUBMITTED PHOTOS
BEFORE & AFTER The Centennial Community Garden is getting ready to open next week in Port Coquitlam’s Central Park. Right, the part of the park before work began last year. Below and bottom, the garden as it was this week, thanks to the efforts of dozens of volunteers (second from bottom) and $22,500 in grant money.
— image credit: SUBMITTED PHOTOS

What was once an unused portion of Port Coquitlam’s Central Park has been transformed into the city’s newest community garden.

And the Centennial Community Garden Society wants to show off its handy work by inviting the neighbourhood to grand opening celebrations next week.

“The residents in the area have been amazed,” said Rosemarie Nakamura, the society’s secretary treasurer. “It has just changed the whole area.”

Nakamura and Natalia Zhandarmova, a fellow gardening enthusiast, started the project last summer when they were informed of the lengthy waiting list for a garden plot at Elks Park’s community garden. The pair began researching the possibility of starting a new community garden and found an unused piece of land that was owned by the city.

Armed with $22,500 in grants and a handful of volunteers, they got to work last August, cleaning up the area and building plots. After nine months, work at the park is finally wrapping up.

“It is a record time for such projects,” Zhandarmova said. “It usually takes longer.”

The end result is a 60-plot garden with raised beds, a greenhouse, water barrels, composting area and a dog enclosure. There is also a kids’ area where the young ones can keep busy while parents do their gardening, and a double plot that will be used to produce fruits and vegetables for the Share food bank.

After one month, all of the plots are spoken for and a 20-person waiting list already exists. But Nakamura hopes that people in the neighbourhood still feel they can visit the area and get to know some of the gardeners.

“It’s not just about gardening,” she said. “This is for the community.”

 

GRAND OPENING

• The Centennial Community Garden grand opening celebration starts at 2 p.m. on June 14 and will feature the planting of several trees and bushes, music, food and family-friendly activities. For more information, email Rosemarie Nakamura at info@centennialgarden.ca or go to www.centennialgarden.ca.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

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