After a year’s delay due to COVID-19, The Agassiz Community Garden’s new location is officially open.
Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon MP Brad Vis and District of Kent Sylvia Pranger and members of council were all in attendance. Vis and Pranger cut a ceremonial ribbon to officially open the garden after Pranger and director of developmental services Darcey Kohuch unveiled a commemorative plaque affixed to a stone. Community Garden Society president Laurens van Vliet emceed the event.
The community garden’s new home was meant to officially open last March, but COVID delayed the official ceremonies until this month.
The original community garden was located on Pioneer Avenue; after 15 years and developing 60 garden plots, a private owner sold the land in 2018, evicting the community garden. It took six or seven attempts to secure land, but the community garden ultimately put down roots on Morrow Road on leased land from B.C. Hydro in early 2020.
Vis recalled visiting the original community garden back in 2013.
“You’re not going to find a better community garden anywhere in any community I represent, in Mission, Matsqui, Fraser Canyon or the Fraser Valley,” Vis said. “It’s so essential not only to teach our young kids where a squash, a pumpkin, their tomatoes and their beans come from, but to give them that connection to the land in a real and tangible way. We’re so thankful to B.C. Hydro and everyone else who made this a possibility.”
Pranger said her husband, John, was part of creating the original community garden.
“He would be so thrilled that you’re continuing the good work,” Pranger said. “Who would’ve know from March of 2020 that a new garden would look this good? You guys did an amazing job. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a participant in the grand opening of the community garden, and I wish you every success and I think you’re going to grow.”
The March 2020 commemorative plaque reads: “In grateful appreciation to the District of Kent and B.C. Hydro for facilitating the use of this B.C. Hydro property by the Agassiz Community Gardens.”