A new centre for regional education is sprouting at the Central Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library, right in the heart of the Food Eco District in downtown Victoria
In September 2018, the Food Eco District (FED) and the LifeCycles Society Project joined forces to celebrate the Urban Learning Garden’s Grand Opening with an event that brought out some of the best in the community. With toe-tappin’ music from Slim Sandy & the Hillbilly Boppers, a visit from Mayor Lisa Helps, and plenty of food, drink and activities, we finally got to share our dream of building a beautiful and diverse garden downtown for everyone to enjoy.
Having completed our first two gardens, one dedicated to native plants and the other to perennial herbs, the Urban Learning Garden will become a space where anyone can learn about saving seeds, identifying native plants and their Indigenous uses, and growing food in urban spaces. The garden will host workshops, and interpretive signage will inform visitors about how and why to grow certain plants in our region. There will also be information about local wildlife, water conservation, Indigenous territories and culture, and soil health.
From 2018 to 2020 we will be building a biodiverse learning lab in the large urban courtyard, which will include:
- Native Plant Gardens
- Perennial Herb Gardens
- Indigenous Food Gardens
- Pollinator Gardens
- Urban Agriculture Demonstration Space
- A Children’s Garden
This space will also produce seed that will be harvested and freely shared by the Victoria Seed Library. The seed library exists to help grow food and biodiversity by facilitating the open sharing of seed through our public Victoria Seed Library.
Keep your eye on the space! We will be building two more gardens next year. If you’d like to be involved in part of the design, make sure to keep up with our social media, @FoodEcoDistrict, or send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org, and help us to create food for people, food for pollinators and food for thought!
We would like to acknowledge with respect these Lekwungen-speaking peoples on whose traditional territory the Urban Learning Garden stands, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.