Public garden growing and replanted in new location

Volunteer Lorraine Harries and co-founder of the Kamloops Food Policy Council stand in front of Kamloops' first public garden.

A public garden project with roots in the downtown core has been transplanted to North Kamloops.

Laura Kalina, registered dietician with Interior Health and co-founder of the Kamloops Food Policy Council, said the garden - open to everyone to both tend and consume - was never meant to permanently grow on Victoria Street between First and Second Avenue.

A group of master gardeners in partnership with the Food Policy Council and multiple donors launched the idea of the public garden to promote food sustainability about two years ago.

In the first two years, land was temporarily donated by a local landowner while the lot remained vacant.

Now that construction is underway close to the designated garden space, the location is no longer ideal for growing fresh produce.

"The building is going to be higher, so there's no sun," Kalina said.

But it was no trouble to move the garden into it's new location on Elm Street and Tranquille Road.

"That's why we did it in planter boxes," Kalina said.

This year marks the third year of the garden.

Ask Wellness is taking on the role of maintaining it this year, but Kalina said volunteers are always welcome.

"The whole idea is public produce can be operated by anybody," Kalina said.

Kalina said the pilot project was so successful the idea is growing.

Another edible green space even bloomed at McDonald Park.

"We want to spread the idea of public produce," Kalina said.

She's hoping other local community groups and businesses will get on board and adopt an edible green space approach.

"(Kamloops is) being looked at across the country as sort of a successful best practice," she added.

A how-to-guide is in the works for those wishing to transform extra space into public garden space.

In the meantime, Kalina said anyone interested in the concept may contact the Food Policy Council by email for more information.

And whether you have space or not, you're welcome to stop by mid-season and pick a few weeds or grab a few veggies.

"People are there using it - nothing is going to waste," Kalina said. "That's why we wish that we had more because people really love the concept."

To contact a reporter for this story, email: or call (250) 319-7494.

Development at a vacant lot in downtown Kamloops has prompted the public garden to move to the North Shore.
Development at a vacant lot in downtown Kamloops has prompted the public garden to move to the North Shore.

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