Dear Foodshare Friends!
The City of Nanaimo is undertaking community consultation around its plans for the East Wellington Park lands. With Foodshare’s 20 years of experience as an advocate for food security in Nanaimo; our experience working with Vancouver Island University (VIU), local farmers and producers; and managing the Five Acre Farm we can imagine great things for this park. However, we need your help in articulating that vision to the City of Nanaimo. Your comments on the plan, on the website or the upcoming open house will be critical.
This land is located on the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) — which comprises just 5% of BC’s total land base. The ALR was established in 1973 to protect land with prime agricultural conditions for farming and ranching.
It is a rare opportunity to have agricultural land set aside for community use and to be able to contribute to the park’s planning process. We see a unique opportunity for this land to achieve the best combination of agricultural, environmental, social, and recreational benefits for Nanaimo residents.
For example, imagine a City park that incorporates ….
- Restorative, organic agriculture that allows us to enhance food security in Nanaimo and provide fresh fruit and vegetables to City programs and low income residents.
- Agriculture and environmental conservation working together to enhance biodiversity and wildlife habitat.
- Beehives, pollinator gardens and pollinator pathways.
A site to offer educational opportunities for the next generation of farmers in our community.
- Composting and demonstration low water use farming and WaterWise strategies to educate the public about sustainability and waste reduction.
- Workshops and hands on training in farming, permaculture, beekeeping, seed saving.
At present, dog walking and other activities have been envisioned as a focus of the land closest to the parking lot. Without an assessment of the agricultural potential, it is not possible to know how designating this use will impact the agricultural or environmental conservation uses of the property.
Foodshare is recommending that the next step for this park plan be to conduct a professional agricultural assessment of the park; this assessment will identify the areas in the park where agriculture is the best use. Once the assessment is complete, the agricultural areas can be assigned and developed to include recreation, education, and environmental restoration. We are advocating that the city hire a qualified agricultural professional to conduct the assessment.
Have your say
Help ensure that the agricultural potential of this land is available for future generations.
- Review the East Wellington Park Plan.
- Attend the open house January 18 from 10 am – 2:30 pm at the Cavalotti Lodge (2060 East Wellington Road). This event will include a tour of the site – bring your gum boots!
- Share your thoughts on the draft plan by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (250) 755-7506 and asking to speak to the Parks and Open Space Planner. (Note: the most valuable input you can provide is based on your unique expertise and areas of interest. However, feel free to use our points above for reference if you see fit).
We appreciate your support!