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Port Moody residents could soon ask, 'How does your boulevard garden grow?'

Port Moody staff will investigate possible locations to convert grassy boulevards into bountiful gardens, and develop guidelines for maintenance.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, grounded flight attendant Francois Guernon planted the boulevard near his Pleasantside home with colourful flowers. | Tri-City News file photo

Port Moody's boulevards could soon be bursting with flowers, tomato plants and even towering stalks of corn.

On Tuesday (May 23), council unanimously endorsed a motion by Couns. Samantha Agtarap and Amy Lubik tasking staff to identify grassy boulevards in the city that could be transformed into colourful and bountiful gardens by volunteer residents and develop guidelines for their planting and maintenance.

Agtarap said the idea would help take pressure of the city's existing community gardens that all have waiting lists of hopeful gardeners.

"We don't have enough to meet demand."

Agtarap believes converting some boulevards to gardens would also reduce city costs to maintain them while creating a more resilient and beautiful environment that could attract pollinators like bees and bats.

"We can improve the look of our community and create a sense of pride in our streetscapes."

Lubik said boulevard gardens would also provide new opportunities for social connection and improve residents’ physical, social and mental well-being.

"A program like this can be an innovative way to fulfill that desire," she said.

But Mayor Meghan Lahti cautioned any guidelines developed for the boulevards would need to address how the gardens must be maintained and who would be responsible for the work to keep them up to a standard.

"We need to be aware of the liabilities," she said.

Coun. Diana Dilworth said such rules also need to have the weight of bylaw enforcement behind them to ensure boulevard gardens don't run amok or are left fallow when gardeners lose interest.

But, she added, "if done right with passion by people who are into gardening, it can be an incredible enhancement."