The Burns Lake Community Garden, located near the Immaculata Church, will see several upgrades in 2017 including a water line extension, a wheelchair-accessible outhouse, new beds and a garden shed.
Once the shed is built, it will work as an information kiosk to keep gardeners informed and connected.
“I’m very excited about every project, but especially the outhouse,” said Burns Lake Community Garden Society member Samantha Young-Finch.
“Early on, before the Community Garden Society had officially formed, we recognized the need for the bathroom, but we thought it was a lot to ask for,” she continued. “Thankfully the community came through and we will have an outhouse before long.”
“I’m also extremely excited about the information kiosk, which will help us organize everything and inform everyone of work bees etc. with ease,” she added.
The Burns Lake Community Forest has recently donated $13,600 to help fund all these projects. The Burns Lake and District Community Foundation has also contributed $1000.
“We have had many other groups grant funding in prior years as well as many individuals,” explained Young-Finch.
Community members have also been finding other ways to contribute to the garden. Local resident Rob Thorburn has donated his plumbing skills to the waterline project while the Burns Lake unit of the B.C. Wildfire Service will be helping with the timber replacement on a number of existing raised beds.
“And we also have the skillful help of Trent Payne and his backhoe once again,” said Young-Finch. “As the season moves along, I’m sure we will see other groups and individuals in the community donate labour to us, which we always appreciate.”
With over 20 beds, which are all booked for the season, the garden will have a total of 25 gardeners this year – and 13 of them are new to gardening.
Meanwhile the garden is expected to keep growing.
“We plan to add more beds, four standard [beds] and one accessible bed for persons with mobility issues; ideally the accessible bed will be ready for this season.”
“We have signage we’d like to add, a free garden book lending box we hope to build and much more,” added Young-Finch. “We have a lot on our plates this season.”
The Community Garden Society expects that the waterline extension will be completed this week so that garden members can start planting during the May long weekend.