Community Orchards to be Planted

This month two pilot community orchards, one in Banfield Park in Victoria West and one in William Stevenson Park in Fernwood, will be planted with the goals of increasing urban food production and access to affordable, healthy, local food.   

A ‘community orchard' is a grove of fruit or nut trees in a public park where a community group participates in the care, maintenance and harvesting of the trees.  The food that is produced is then shared with the community.  The two community orchard sites will demonstrate how food production can co-exist in public spaces with multiple uses.  

The Victoria West Community Association Food Security Collective and the Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group will manage these community orchards, with some support from the City of Victoria. Since the pilot program was announced last fall, both community groups have developed designs for their orchards and selected the fruit and nut trees that will now be planted.

Along with the planting, the community groups will be responsible for the pruning, harvesting and distribution of the fruit.  City support includes tree purchase, installation and maintenance of irrigation systems and mowing the lawn around the trees during regular park maintenance.  These details have been included in a licence agreement, similar to what is used for community gardens in City parks.  In the future, these orchards could also be used for public education programs such as fruit tree pruning courses.

For more information and contact details please click here.

Consistent with the City's Official Community Plan, the goal is to develop and demonstrate an approach to growing food in visible public places that balances the many different uses of park lands.  This pilot program also aligns with the Sustainability Action Plan and with the local food supply focus found within the Victoria Sustainability Framework.