Community garden set to take root

It’s just a non-descript plot of land in Sardis right now.

But a thriving community garden for Chilliwack will soon be plowed beside the Mathieson Centre on Wells Road.

It’s just a non-descript plot of land in Sardis right now.

But a thriving community garden for Chilliwack will soon be plowed beside the Mathieson Centre on Wells Road.

Food Matters Chilliwack (FMC) has joined forces with Chilliwack Society for Community Living (CSCL) in a unique partnership that will see vegetables, herbs and more grown in a half-acre plot.

Joining forces with Food Matters on a community garden “seemed like a natural fit,” said Julie Unger, CSCL director of adult day and children’s services.

The new partnership stemmed from an earlier fruit gleaning project the groups did together and it blossomed from there.

“The key word in ‘community garden’ for us is community,” said Unger.

The local agency, CSCL, supports adults with developmental disabilities, as well as children with special needs.

In conjunction with the community garden project, they’ve issued a Big Green Grow-A-Row challenge to their umbrella organizations, to see which group can grow the most food this summer for the local food bank.

“We think the garden will be an amazing opportunity for individuals we support to learn from the community about gardening, as well as to teach the community what diversity looks like,” said Unger.

The proposed garden site will be located on land donated years ago to the agency.

The cool and rainy weather this spring has delayed things by a few weeks.

“We’re hoping to get it plowed somewhere in the next two weeks,” she added.

About 40 to 50 people showed up at the first community garden meeting held last week at the Mathieson Centre, said Rachel Poupore of Food Matters Chilliwack.

“The interest in this community garden project is just skyrocketing,” she said. “It was so rewarding to get people in a room, talking about what they can bring to the table.”

Community gardens are found across the globe, especially in places where people want to grow their own food, and foster a shared sense of community at the same time, explained Jason Delisle of Food Matters Chilliwack.

There are a number of benefits of a community garden, like the educational aspects of the project they’ll be exploring, said Poupore. It could be anything from how to grow vegetables and herbs in a sustainable fashion using organic methods, to establishing a rain water collection system.

Various types of garden plots will eventually be mapped out at the site and available to a range of growers. Some could be for individuals, who live in multi-family housing without backyards, for example, while other plots will be tended by community groups. Some plots will be for Plant A Row/Grow A Row participants, while a few others might be set up to grow tall crops, or short crops specifically.

Individuals and groups are being sought as volunteers to help with the garden, to sign up for a garden plot, or to donate gardening equipment, supplies and tools. Donations of lumber to make raised beds, a toolshed and truckloads of good soil are some of the priority items needed to get the project going. To register for the CSCL Community Garden project, call Julie Unger at 604-792-7726 or email

Just Posted

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack woman’s 100-km birthday marathon to benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

RCMP investigating June 15, 2021 crash. (Black Press file)
Chilliwack RCMP say crash into median led to impaired driver investigation

Chrysler 300 driver allegedly collided with tree on Spadina median in June 15 incident

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Abbotsford council has given permission for Chilliwack to use the JAMES wastewater treatment plant for the disposal of trucked liquid waste until the end of September.
Chilliwack gets exemption to Abbotsford bylaw prohibiting liquid waste from other cities

Process in place until September while new facility under construction in Chilliwack

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read