Community garden expansion approved after plan adjustments

·2 min read

The Jasper Local Food Society (JLFS) will be able to expand its community garden after tweaking its plan.

On Oct. 5, the previous council approved an expansion of the community garden to allow for additional garden plots and a shed.

“We are excited to keep working with the operations department and the incoming town council members in creating more gardening spaces all around the town of Jasper, to support our demand for local homegrown healthy food,” said JLFS community garden co-ordinator ryAn eSch, whose name is uniquely capitalized, in an email interview.

The food society began a decade ago and established a garden near the library to provide access to locally grown food.

In order to expand, the garden was moved to its current location along Connaught Drive and has been there for the last seven years.

“In the last three years which I have been involved with the Jasper Local Food Society, I have seen a lineup of gardeners vying for a plot yet unable to secure one due to limited space,” eSch said.

“This excess demand for garden allotments was our initial spark for another extension to the east.”

The initial proposal was a 40’-by-30’ perimeter expansion that would have accommodated up to 14 more allotment plots.

“Shortly after our submission, we became aware that the electric car charging stations project had already been approved and would need some of the area,” eSch said.

“We also found out that the long-awaited demolition of the old AMA building, which we were using as a storage space, was finally getting executed.”

The society then worked with ATCO and the municipality’s operations department to come up with a modified plan.

“The new garden extension will keep the same width and extend the fence line 20 feet to the east with a notch out for the ATCO power transformer and space for a new storage shed,” eSch said.

“Our gardens will provide a partial visual distraction of the power box while still allowing maintenance access from Connaught Drive. While we will be able to create a few additional garden beds, based on past and current trends, we will not be able to fulfill the demand for allotments next season in our current garden on Connaught Drive.”

The society is now looking at other parks and grassy areas around town for additional gardening spaces, with some already having the required wildlife fencing.

Those who know a sweet spot for a garden or want to get involved with the Jasper Local Food Society or the community garden can email jasperlocalfood@gmail.com

With files from Ali Howat, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Peter Shokeir, Jasper Fitzhugh

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