Agassiz Harrison Legion branch 32 first vice Ed Arndt stands amongst the new raised plots in the Legion’s community garden. Set to open by spring, Arndt hopes the new project will make gardening more accessible. (Nina Grossman/The Observer)

Agassiz Harrison Legion’s new senior-friendly garden set to open in spring

Raised beds, wide paths improve accessibility

The Agassiz Harrison Legion will be growing in the new year.

Growing vegetables, that is.

The Legion is in the process of preparing a 10,000-foot space for a garden that serves seniors and veterans – in particular those with mobility issues – in the large green space behind its location off Highway 9 in Agassiz’s downtown core.

“This is a senior-friendly garden,” said Ed Arndt, the Legion’s first vice. “It gives them the opportunity to get out of the house…They’re out of their apartment, tilling the soil. Even if you’re in a wheel chair, you can reach over, [the plots] are only four feet wide.”

Related: Uprooted: Agassiz Community Garden evicted after 15 years on Pioneer Avenue

Agassiz already has a community garden that serves a wide range of gardeners, and includes a few raised plots, but the Legion hopes the new space will make gardening even more accessible for seniors with mobility issues.

Along with accessible, raised beds, the garden has wide paths between plots, suitable for wheelchairs and walkers. Its location allows for cars and trucks to drop off gardeners right in front of the entrance.

“It’s all a matter of socialization. Just to have the opportunity to get out of their apartment and have the opportunity to come and do something like this, is a benefit that I think will benefit them health-wise, mentally…

And like Agassiz’s long-established community garden, any extra vegetables grown will be delivered to the food bank.

“There’s only so many zucchinis that you can eat,” Arndt said. “So they’ll be taking those over to the food bank. It’s going to benefit the food bank, it’s going to benefit the community, it’s going to benefit the seniors – getting them out.”

With 30, three-foot-high wood-boxed plots, the garden is set to open by spring. Arndt can’t wait to see the space full of vines, bean stalks, berry bushes, vegetables and flowers and emphasized that gardeners can grow whatever the want.

He hasn’t determined if the plots will be used individually or split in half and says it will depend on the popularity of the garden. Each plot will cost a token $10.

The Legion will make an announcement closer to its opening to let people know how they can apply for a space.

Related: Legion week celebrated across B.C.



nina.grossman@ahobserver.com

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