Riverside Meadows residents now have a place to garden with their neighbours.
A community garden, at 5503 58A St., is now open in the Red Deer neighbourhood; the project was led by the Riverside Meadows Community Association and the City Chapel Fellowship, the church that owns the land.
Chad Krahn, community association vice-president, said it took three years to complete this project.
“Hopefully this transforms a vacant lot into a place of real community connection,” Krahn said.
After working with the city for years, filling out permits and trying to receive grants, the garden officially opened May 26.
“It’s harder to build things and change things in the world than you may think, but it’s cool to have this.
“Some community members were really excited and had their plants ready to go right away,” he said. “A bunch of members of the church were out (May 26), as well as some community members.”
Dirt from another community garden was used at the Riverside Meadows site. A community recreation enhancement grant covered the lumber costs.
A few people in the area have been a little more hesitant about having a community garden, Krahn said.
“Some are saying, ‘Oh someone will just come wreck the garden and steal from it.’ That could happen, but it’s not like it’s exclusive to our neighbourhood. Anytime you do something positive there’s always naysayers,” he said.
Five of the 21 garden beds are still available, he added.
“One of the challenges has been getting the word out,” said Krahn. “We’d like to see them filled, but we’e not too worried right now.”
Only Riverside Meadows residents can use the garden.
There are now eight neighbourhood community gardens in Red Deer; other locations include Waskasoo, Lancaster and West Park.