Community Papers

Student-led garden takes root in Fort Langley

Langley Fine Arts students from the school
Langley Fine Arts students from the school's Green Team have helped make a community garden in Fort Langley take root.
— image credit: Submitted

The recently formed Fort Langley Community Garden Association along with the Langley Fine Arts Green Team announce that the blessing of the land ceremony for the long awaited community garden will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 2 p.m., in Fort Langley Community Park.

The garden will be constructed on traditional Kwantlen, Katsie and Matsqui First Nations’ land. Kevin Kelly, a Kwantlen representative, will preside over the ceremony. Everyone in the community is invited to attend.

Team leader, Deven Azevedo, a Grade 12 student at Langley Fine Arts School and last year's environmental hero in the youth category, originally conceived the project.

He then assembled the Green Team leadership group, consisting of fellow grade 12 students Sydney Gobin, Ingrid Libera, and Aidan Hoffman. The group grew to include 12 more students.

Their vision and infectious enthusiasm has rallied support from wide-ranging sectors of the community.

“We want the garden to engage students and community members in sustainable living and provide people with a way to connect with nature," Deven said when asked why the students were so committed to the project.

The project has been financed by donations from Marcon Construction, the Langley School District Foundation, Langley Fine Arts Parent Advisory Committee, the Townshipand the Sunrise Rotary Club.

Construction is expected to begin within two weeks of the blessing ceremony. The garden is expected to open on April 4.

The Garden will provide Fort Langley community members with an opportunity to garden organically.

It will also be used by the school as a tool to educate its students on the importance of sustainable development, food security, and building a connection with nature.

In addition, the Langley Fine Arts Aboriginal Program intends to use the garden as a cultural teaching space.

Project Kenya Sister Schools, a non-profit school based charity, also has plans for the garden; they hope to show the importance of school gardens in both Kenya and Canada. It is hoped that the extra produce from the school plots can be sold to help fund more school gardens in Africa.

Elders in the community, several who are experienced gardeners, have committed to volunteering their time to teach beginners how to garden. Those involved hope the garden will not only provide a forum for teaching lost skills, but will also act as a bridge between generations.

The garden will have 34 boxes, six of which will be handicap accessible. Twenty-two have already been spoken for. The boxes are available on a first come first serve basis and limited to Fort Langley residents. If you are interested in obtaining a box or would like more information contact Penny Carnrite at pcarnrite@sd35.bc.ca.

For the ceremony, the park is at the intersection of Nash Street and St. Andrews Avenue. Parking is available at Langley Fine Arts School.

 

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