Everyone welcomed to join building of a community garden in a day
Michelle Strutzenberger


Cinthia Pagé says creating community gardens is some of the best work there is to do in the world, and when you can pack the start-up into one day, that’s even better.

On May 26, posAbilities spearheaded the creation of a community garden in one day at the Bethany Newton United Church, 14853 – 60th Ave., Surrey.

The church congregation and about 30 volunteers from Telus contributed, as did people from the local community. Anyone else was invited to join, says Cinthia, noting this is the “whole point” of the event; that it’s open to everyone.

Asked before the event about the best outcome she hoped to see from this, Cinthia says it was already underway as people and organizations have committed to donate food, drinks, wood, Bobcats and shovels.

Looking ahead, she hopes that through this one-day event “a mosaic of people from different backgrounds and life experiences and people that don’t usually connect will have a chance to set up relationships with other people.”

Cinthia is so committed to community gardens — she’s helped launch a number, and last year grew produce in five — because they promote food security and growing local and organic, while providing ample opportunity to foster community.

She compares community gardens to the traditional, backyard, family garden.

“It’s not the same as when you (grow a garden) in a community setting, and you put yourself out there and you commit to connecting with people and being part of a project in your community. This is really what moves me,” Cinthia tells posAbilities Today.

She says she is inspired to see families immersed in the busyness of their lives — work, children, hobbies — who still find the time and energy to contribute to this kind of effort. It obviously matters to them, “and they realize it matters to the whole community.”

Rev. John Miller is of Bethany Newton United Church, the organization providing the land for the community garden.

He says the church was interested in joining the project as part of its goal to be more relevant to the community, both from a faith and practical perspective.

He is looking forward to the opportunity to continue the church’s contributions to the Surrey Food Bank with fresh produce. Like Cinthia, he is also excited to see how this can help cultivate connections between people.

John adds the garden is timely given the recent development in the area, with many new buildings and families coming in.

The community garden will include about 50 plots of varying sizes. Some will be raised for accessibility.

The garden is an initiative of posAbilities Can You Dig It? initiative that has helped create 25 community gardens in B.C.’s Lower Mainland. This is the third garden to be built in a day.

To learn more about Can You Dig it?, click here.

Feel free to comment below, or e-mail michelle(at)axiomnews.ca.