Home News by Region Langford Preparation for Langford’s first community garden gets rolling

Preparation for Langford’s first community garden gets rolling

Land-clearing event at Porcher Park was held March 16, 2024

porcher park, land, urban, community garden
A land area the size of two house lots is being prepared for community garden development at Porcher Park in central Langford. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

Monday April 1, 2024 | LANGFORD, BC [Updated April 10, 2024]

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

PUBLIC INPUT SURVEY about the COMMUNITY GARDEN AT PORCHER PARK (survey open to April 21, 2024)

A piece of land within a park in central Langford will soon be home to a community garden.

It will be the first community garden in the fast-growing west shore municipality (population now over 50,000).

langford council, porcher park
Langford Councillors showed up to pull invasive species from the woody area at Porcher Park on March 16, 2024. From left: Mark Morley, Mary Wagner, Keith Yacucha, Ember the Mascot, Kimberley Guiry, Lillian Szpak, and Colby Harder. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

The Porcher Park location is located off Wren Place, surrounded by some older growth trees but also by single family homes, and some nearby condos and townhomes. What will likely seem like a ‘pop up garden’ surrounded by buildings is embedded within the Claude Road / Peatt Road area just off Goldstream Avenue in the city centre.

City of Langford council has been highly proactive in launching their first community garden. The 2024 Budget includes $40,000 for the project; most of the work will be done by in-house Parks municipal staff as well as a garden design consultant.

green team, volunteers
Volunteers help clear invasive species from Porcher Park on March 16, 2024. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

Benefits of community gardens:

Community gardens are widely considered to be a positive community asset both as infrastructure but also socioeconomically for local residents who take part in growing food there.

langford, traffic

The growing opportunity is usually appreciated by people whose home does not have much or any space for growing edible plants (e.g. in condos or townhomes). The camaraderie of growing foods with fellow gardeners is a good community-level support.

Well-organized community gardens can also contribute harvested foods to local food banks.

Project layout:

The land area for the community garden was — until recently — home to two single-family houses. Those were old and torn down.

A walking trail running between residential streets will go past the garden and through a protected forest area.

porcher park, forest, trail
Porcher Park is under redevelopment but will retain a forested area with a walk-through trail. [March 16, 2024 / Island Social Trends]

March 16 land-clearing event:

On March 16, invasive species were removed from much of the targeted walking-trail area during a Greater Victoria Green Team environmental charity event.

Invasive species that were removed from the property included: Invasive species that were removed from the site included English Holly, Himalayan Blackberry, Scotch Broom, and English Ivy.

invasive species, green team, langford
Species signage at the site cleanup of Porcher Park in Langford on March 16, 2024. [Island Social Trends]

Native plant species that will be retained or introduced to the park area include Trailing Blackberry, Dull Oregon Grape, Salal, Sword Fern, Salmonberry and Snowberry.

native plants, species, langford, green team
Native plan species signage at the site cleanup of Porcher Park in Langford on March 16, 2024. [Island Social Trends]

After 5.6 cubic metres of invasive plants were pulled, about 300 fire-resistant native species were planted. There were plenty of shovels on hand for the volunteers to use.

As much as 36 cubic metres of flammable debris was removed under the guidance of FireSmart personnel on hand.

Who was there:

That robust event — with a lot of digging, pruning and plant removal — was attended by more than 85 volunteers including exchange students, young families, long-term Langford residents, some City of Langford Parks staff and all six City of Langford councillors: Kimberley Guiry, Colby Harder, Mark Morley, Lillian Szpak, Mary Wagner, and Keith Yacucha.

city councillors, langford, porcher park
Lots of outdoor activity for City of Langford councillors on March 16, 2024 at Porcher Park. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

Non-profit support:

A local non-profit society called Urban Food Resilience Initiatives Society (UFRIS) will help promote and guide the garden project over time. Educational and emergency preparedness components of the community garden will be developed.

UFRIS project lead is Mary Brooke, B.Sc. (who presented to Langford committees in summer 2023 regarding food-growing in the urban environment); fellow directors are Rob Martin and Dean Ross.