Blue River Community Garden sees growth, new projects in future

With funding from the North Thompson Communities Foundation, supplies from Wells Gray Home Hardware and time put in my volunteers, a washing station was installed over the summer at the Blue River Community Garden. (Submitted photo)With funding from the North Thompson Communities Foundation, supplies from Wells Gray Home Hardware and time put in my volunteers, a washing station was installed over the summer at the Blue River Community Garden. (Submitted photo)
Lee Onlsow, coordinator for the Blue River Community Garden, with a sunflower grown in the garden. (Submitted photo)Lee Onlsow, coordinator for the Blue River Community Garden, with a sunflower grown in the garden. (Submitted photo)
The Blue River Community Garden is also a learning hub for elementary students. (Submitted photo)The Blue River Community Garden is also a learning hub for elementary students. (Submitted photo)
The Blue River Community Garden boasts 40 boxes, flowers, produce, a gazebo and newly-installed washing station. (Submitted photo)The Blue River Community Garden boasts 40 boxes, flowers, produce, a gazebo and newly-installed washing station. (Submitted photo)

The Blue River Community Garden (BRCG) is celebrating another successful growing season, boasting 40 garden boxes filled with flowers and produce for the entire community to enjoy.

“A spectacularly bountiful harvest put fresh vegetables on tables throughout Blue River again this year,” wrote Lee Onslow, coordinator for the BRCG, in a press release.

Over the summer, a produce washing station was constructed, thanks to funding from the North Thompson Communities Foundation, who has provided funds and supported the garden since 2018, and donations and supplies from Wells Gray Home Hardware. Local volunteers, Dustin Deuling and Tom Onslow, were also given special thanks as they volunteered “their time and expertise to make this project a reality.”

A grant from Trans Mountain’s Community Investment Program will fund an automatic watering system in the spring. The funds will cover the installation which will include a smart timer that senses precipitation levels and minimizes waste by watering only when it’s needed.

“The watering system will be installed next spring and will be a great improvement to the hand-watering that is currently required!” the statement reads.

The BRCG’s raised garden boxes are surrounded by fencing, with vines slowly making their way along the chain-link walls. With a large gazebo, its central flower garden and the newly-installed washing station, the garden is a welcoming community space for all.

While 30 of the garden’s boxes are cared for and harvested by individuals and families, 10 of the boxes are tended by volunteers, who invite anyone to pick and enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables.

The BRCG is also a learning hub for the community’s elementary students. The learning begins indoors where the students will plant seedlings early in the spring. Once those plants are large enough to transplant, they do so in the community garden. During the seedlings’ growth, the kids learn about the life cycle of the plant, as well as the make-up of seeds and how they sprout. Updates and photos from the BRCG can be viewed on their Facebook page (@bluerivercommunitygarden).

“Thank you to all our garden supporters and members who have helped create this amazing space in our little town!” said Onslow.



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