The Agassiz Community Gardens is officially into the double digits. Members of the gardens, and their guests, celebrated the tenth anniversary on Sat., Jun. 15, with about 50 people taking in the award presentations, recognitions, a BBQ, and gate prizes.
Guests learned the history of the success story, which began with a vision by Anne-Marie Dupperon. After a few years of thoughtful process, the gardens became a reality in the spring of 2003.
Right from the start, Sylvia Pranger, then serving as Kent District Mayor, caught the vision and through her encouragement and support also made things happen. For their exceptional efforts, both were made Honorary Members in the Agassiz Community Gardens Society at the event.
The gardens started with 22 plots, each 20 by 20 feet in size. Soon, an expansion took place adding another 24 plots. There are currently 58 plots, all being used, making it one of the largest such gardens in BC.
The philosophy of the gardens is to facilitate the growing of food and flowers on good quality land through a valuable recreation activity that is known to contribute to personal well-being and health, positive interaction, community belonging, and environmental awareness. Gardening is one aspect of active living, the latter being frequently promoted locally, provincially and nationally.
The Community Gardens are for everyone, and members include young people, families with children and retired people. There are also raised gardens for physically challenged people. Often, gardeners are donating to the local Food Bank excess produce grown on their plots. Over the years, the members have become a community of friends, where new people in town easily connect.
Several invited guests attended, including Kent Councillors Duane Post and Holger Schwichtenberg, along with Dave Neufeld and Victoria Brooks who were judging the gardens, and Ken Schwaertzle.
Six original members were presented with a certificate of congratulations for 10 years of gardening at the Agassiz Community Gardens. The winners of the best looking garden in terms of neatness, free of weeds, and variety of vegetables grown were: Doug Shogren, first price; Paul Illy, second price; and Henk Van De Raadt, third price.