Tracy Holmes photo Lesley Tannen (left), general manager at Crescent Housing Society, and Neil Fernyhough, manager of community projects for Alexandra Neighbourhood House, watch as garden members Susan Jensen and Andrea McCorkell pull weeds from one of the beds.

Life of South Surrey community garden extended

Housing society commits space for another five years

Support for Crescent Park Community Garden continues to blossom, and those who planted its seeds and continue to tend to its fruits – and vegetables, and bee hive, and trails and herb garden – couldn’t be happier.

Last month, Crescent Housing Society committed to renew its lease of the one-acre site to CPCG for five years, at $1 per year, as well as pay the taxes on it for that period. The first term was a two-year commitment.

“I think they recognize it as a community partnership,” CHS general manager Lesley Tannen explained last week of the society board’s decision.

“Vacant lots in Surrey are sort of prone to misuse,” she added. “We’re just happy to see it well-used.”

The 56-plot garden was built on a one-acre site at 128 Street and 25 Avenue, just north of Crescent Park Elementary, and behind Kiwanis Park Place.

Operated by Alexandra Neighbourhood House, it was initiated by gardeners who got involved with the Alexandra Community Garden, a 30-plot project that launched in 2012 in a small park owned by ANH in Crescent Beach.

The gardeners wanted to increase the area’s community-garden capacity, said Neil Fernyhough, ANH’s manager of community projects.

Fernyhough described community gardens as an “amazing” way of bringing people together. As well, they’ve been proven to create happier, healthier individuals and communities.

“It brings people of diverse backgrounds together around a shared passion… and then they form a community around that,” Fernyhough said.

Henry Lazar, Susan Jensen, Chris Roulson and Andrea McCorkell were among CPCG members who were at the site Friday.

Lazar, who was doing some cleanup, described his plot as “my little project.”

Beets, beans and pumpkins were among his plantings this year – while the beets were “quite small,” the beans were a success, he said – and he’s experimenting with kale for the winter.

“I’m going to over-winter it, just to see what happens,” he said.

He said the garden, which he usually cycles to, is “the first time I’ve sort of made a conscientious effort to grow stuff.”

Susan Jensen said she and her husband, Richard, both enjoy being involved – adding or tending to infrastructure, weeding, watering and more.

“It’s something we can do together,” she said. “And it’s fun getting to know everybody here.”

Garden committee member Andrea McCorkell noted the site has come a long way.

“Originally, this was just all brush, and a lot – a lot – of blackberry bushes,” McCorkell said.

Now, in addition to members’ own plots – each pays a $35 annual fee – there is one dedicated for Sources’ food bank, and two for Crescent Park Elementary students. Ten plots are wheelchair accessible; another two along the garden’s exterior fences – one on the east side and the other on the south – are for sharing with the public.

Fernyhough noted that of the 75 or so gardeners involved in the community garden, about one in five are tenants of Kiwanis Park Place, which is owned and operated by Crescent Housing Society.

Tannen said everyone, regardless of age or ability, benefits from opportunities to be outside, and “the fact that it’s right next door is great.”

Getting dirty, she added, “addresses the child within.”

Fernyhough said while he would “love” to plant more community gardens, there are no immediate plans to expand on what is already in place.

“We now have four community gardens in a three-kilometre radius in this area, and that’s amazing for any neighbourhood,” he said.

For more information or to be added to the waiting list for a garden plot, contact Fernyhough at 604-535-0015, ext. 236.


Susan Jensen tends to her tomato plants Friday at Crescent Park Community Garden. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Some of the “fruits” of gardeners’ labour. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Just Posted

VIDEO: Surrey girls donate hair, give hope through Wigs for Kids

Emotional event at Coyote Creek Elementary saw 10 girls donate locks to those with cancer

Historic farm time travels to 1900

Demonstrations to show life in Surrey

Choices Lottery home located in White Rock

The 3,672 square-foot, three-level home, located at 1502 Bishop Road, has ocean views.

Pedestrian in critical condition after South Surrey crash identified

RCMP said they have been in contact with the woman’s family

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

Couple keeps South Surrey neighbourhood clean

Bob Cockerill, 83, and his wife Ev, 80, pick up garbage on their morning walks

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Canucks snap scoreless streak but fall short in 5-3 loss to Sharks

Swiss forward Timo Meier nets two, including the game-winner, to lead San Jose

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

UPDATED: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

Most Read