The GCG is a joint project between the PG Christian Reformed Church, and the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), and the Prince George Public Interest Research Group (PG PIRG). The vision of this project is to grow a strong community–a place where people depend upon each other and work together to build strong values, where all community members are appreciated and supported (particularly the poor and underprivileged), and where local environments are used carefully and thoughtfully to support long-term sustainability.
Strong communities are places where people depend upon each other and work together to build strong values, where all community members are appreciated and supported (particularly the poor and underprivileged, and where local environments are used carefully and thoughtfully to support long-term sustainability. The Prince George “Growing Community” Gardens (GCG) seeks to promote the development of these community values through three primary outreaches:
The GCG seeks to bring together broad and diverse sectors of the Prince George community. Activities will be intentionally directed toward breaking down stereotypes among rich/poor, educated/less educated, aboriginal/non-aboriginal, faith based/non-faith based, young/old, and other cultural divides that hinder strong community from developing. This outreach (through working, learning and celebrating together) will seek to create inter-dependencies through participation in the GCG based upon common interest of building strong community supporting sustainable local food production.
The GCG will be a place of community learning through research and education addressing questions of appropriate and sustainable food production, nutrition, and healthy living within a community context. Research will focus on “green”, low-tech, accessible gardening practices (for general application) and enhancing wellness through good nutrition, particularly for low-income and underprivileged residents. Workshops and practical demonstrations can be conducted on nutrition, cold-climate gardening, composting, preparation of food, and preserving nutritious food.
The GCG will be a place of community outreach and support to low-income and underprivileged members of the Prince George community. Harvests from the research / demonstration gardens will be donated to community food banks and local residents. About 1⁄2 of the total garden plots will be given to community residents, with priority given to low-income and underprivileged residents. GCG volunteers will come alongside low-income and underprivileged residents to help empower them to become more active and healthy members of the community through taking more control of their food supply.