Blue River Community Garden celebrates construction of screened-in gazebo

The Blue River Volunteer Fire Department donated its time and expertise to build a gazebo for the Blue River Community Garden this year. (L-r) Prince Saini, Andy Boughton, Dustin Deuling, Tom Onslow, Dan Rossi, Bruce Myers, and Albert Venor. Photo by Lee Onslow
Members of the Blue River Fire Department hard at work building the gazebo. Photo by Lee Onslow
The Blue River Community Garden is an inviting and inclusive space, transformed from an old tennis court. Photo by Lee Onslow

By Lee Onslow

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to members of the Blue River Volunteer Fire Department who donated their time and expertise to build the gazebo, which would not have been completed without their hard work.

This project was a few years in the making. First of all, the idea of a mosquito-free zone was hatched. Once the plan was on paper it was time to raise some money. The North Thompson Communities Foundation gave us a substantial grant, which went towards a portion of the building materials.

Other funding was secured through donations from the Blue River Powder Packers, the Blue River Improvement District, and our own successful Beer in the Garden fundraiser.

Late into the fall of 2019 we had all our ducks in a row and money in the bank. We then approached the Wells Gray Home Hardware who supported our project fully by giving us a large discount on the building materials and by delivering the product to Blue River. Without the help of these organizations our gazebo would not have become a reality.

The Blue River Community Garden has become a food-producing oasis in the heart of Blue River. Over the past few years we have increased the number of large growing boxes from eight to 25. In 2018 we purchased the cedar for the boxes from Midget Mills in McBride and we are very grateful for the substantial discount they gave us.

Volunteers plant and maintain the seven large community garden boxes for anyone in town to come and harvest some fresh vegetables. We really appreciate West Coast Seeds for their valuable donation of most of our seeds. The beautiful garden is now an inviting and inclusive space, transformed from an old tennis court.

Climbing vines grow up the chain-link fence, flowers grow in a feature rock garden, and three spectacular Maple trees welcome visitors at the gate. Our volunteer base has increased from six people in 2018 to 30 this year. The garden coordinators, Lee Onslow and Aimee Venor, had a vision for this space and are excited to see their project take root.

Just think of what could be possible in the garden in future years.

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