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Council Presentations   Item #
Regular Council Meeting Agenda
Community Garden - Spruce Grove and District Agricultural Society - Walker
Economic & Business Development
Strategic Vision Element:
This topic relates to all three of the City’s strategic vision elements contained in Council’s Strategic Plan
High quality leisure, recreational, commercial and social infrastructure and amenities that meet the interests and needs of the greater community are in place and conveniently accessible.
Request for Decision Summary
The Spruce Grove and District Agricultural Society and the City have reached an agreement whereby the Society will construct, operate and maintain a community garden on City land under a Licence of Occupation. This item is coming to City Council as a signing event to raise the profile of the initiative and generate awareness.
That the Spruce Grove and District Agricultural Society be recognized and commended for their initiative in establishing a community garden as part of their outreach to City residents.
The Spruce Grove and District Agricultural Society (the Society) approached the City in early 2018 asking for assistance in finding a suitable site for a community garden. The desire was for a location with some visibility and convenient access for City residents. The site selected is approximately 0.39 acres on City-owned land immediately west of King Street and north of the Christian Fellowship Church. The Society and City would enter into a Licence of Occupation Agreement for a term to end on December 1, 2021. Prior to that date, the parties would consider options based on performance and response to the community garden.
Attached is the Licence of Occupation Agreement for signature. Also attached is a map showing the location of the community garden, draft site plan and the Business Plan for the community garden prepared by the Society.
The Licence Agreement provides for the use of the lands at no charge to the Society. The Society is solely responsible for the construction, maintenance and operation of the community garden. The Society will provide an annual report to Council which summarizes the activities, financials and any other information requested by the City with respect to the community garden during the term of the Licence. The Society will rent garden plots to interested residents and provide such guidance and other support which contribute to the successful performance of the community garden.
The term of the Licence of Occupation is intended to provide sufficient time to assess interest and performance of the community garden. If there is strong demand from residents, there may be opportunity to expand the program at this or another location.
The community garden initiative was brought forward by the Spruce Grove and District Agricultural Society and was subsequently ratified by their membership. Eligibility to rent a garden plot is open to any resident of Spruce Grove.
The term of the Licence of Occupation is approximately 3.5 years ending on December 1, 2021. The balance of 2018 will be spent building out the community garden, raising awareness and establishing the administrative process for accepting applications. It is expected that about 50% of the planters will be done this year as well as fencing, signage and tree planting. The balance of the community garden will be developed in 2019 depending on demand. The site will have signage facing King Street put in place this year which identifies the site as a community garden operated by the Spruce Grove and District Agricultural Society. The Society will prepare a communications plan to raise awareness of the community garden.
The Society was interested in extending its outreach into the community by providing gardening opportunities, education and other support to residents who may lack a suitable yard or would benefit from mentoring. This also provides an opportunity for expanded social engagement and involvement by residents in their community and may create opportunities for liaison with schools as part of their field curriculum.
The City is providing a $10,000 grant to the Spruce Grove and District Agricultural Society to assist in the costs of construction and set-up. The funds are coming out of the City Manager's Contingency.
The Society has already secured several in-kind corporate sponsorships for the community garden and has an opportunity to apply for provincial grants. Fees collected for plot rentals will be used to offset operating costs.