Kamloops community gardens are targets of vandalism, theft, litter | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops community gardens are targets of vandalism, theft, litter

A homeless encampment mere meters away from Rotary Community Garden on Kamloops North Shore.
July 27, 2021 - 7:00 AM

Sierra Way works a plot at Rotary Community Garden on the North Shore of Kamloops but she won't do it again.

Litter, theft and vandalism are about all she can find in the garden anymore. 

“It is very disheartening when you work so hard on growing something like a melon or a squash that you don’t get very many of and then someone comes in and steals it,” she said. “Even worse, there are people who come in here at night and trash things for no apparent reason. There is a camp just beside the gardens and recently our garden manager was threatened by the people living there."

Of the five community gardens in the city, the two gardens located along the river downtown and the one located on the North Shore have constant issues with littering, holes cut in fences and stolen produce, a continuing problem, says Greg Unger, community gardens coordinator with Interior Community Services. Unger has been in his position for two years and maintains the issues of unwanted traffic and vandalism have been persistent.

Gardeners lease their plots for the year and do all of the planting, watering and weeding, and many are getting frustrated with the situation. And some, like Way, have had enough.

A fence line at the Rotary Community Garden on Kamloops North Shore borders a foot trail that drops down into a litter strewn encampment.
A fence line at the Rotary Community Garden on Kamloops North Shore borders a foot trail that drops down into a litter strewn encampment.

A fence line at the Rotary Community Garden borders a litter-strewn foot trail to the river that drops down into a messy encampment. 

"The encampments, especially near Rotary Community Garden produce the most unwanted activity," Unger said. "The gardeners put so much love and work into their plots and then someone comes and uproots them. Many gardeners are getting frustrated."

Unger says Kamloops Community Service Officers have approached the volunteer site leaders to let them know they are more available to help with conflicts in the gardens this year, he said.


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