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Future of Vernon's sustainable garden unclear

Vernon's Xerendipity Garden, complete with peeling signs.
September 25, 2019 - 5:00 PM

VERNON - Built as an example of sustainable gardening, tucked between Okanagan Science Centre and the Heritage Hall in Vernon's Polson Park, the Xerendipity Garden has an unclear future.

Set up in 2006, the Xerendipity Garden demonstrated how drought-tolerant landscaping, using xeriscape techniques saved water in the dry climate of the Okanagan. The garden also showcased water organic gardening, composting and collected water runoff from nearby roofs for use in the garden.

The Regional District of North Okanagan, who rented the space from the City of Vernon, has announced they will not be renewing their lease for the garden. The Regional District said they will remove signage, the fence that surrounds the gardens and other structures from the site.

Vernon's Xerendipity Garden
Vernon's Xerendipity Garden

City of Vernon spokesperson Christy Poirier told iNFOnews.ca the City would clean up the garden but had not as yet made any formal plans for the gardens.

Poirier said the Xerendipity Garden would be addressed in an update to the Polson Park Master Plan, and at that point, a decision would be made. Currently, there is no timeline on when this would happen.

The Regional District did not say how much it spent each year on the garden but did confirm it spent $10,000 on "some of the maintenance" last year.

The garden had held several educational displays and workshops and the Regional District said in a media release it was looking to build its own educational hub at the Greater Vernon Diversion and Disposal Facility, and a new educational centre would be part of next year's budget discussions.

Anyone taking a quick walk around the Xerendipity Garden will see pealing signs and a garden that has a slight air of abandonment.

Xerendipity Garden
Xerendipity Garden

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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