DCA President’s report: Questions of greenspace

by Michael Powell
DCA President

Community Garden

One of the goals of the Dalhousie Priority project that was launched in 2014 was to find opportunities to create more community gardens in our neighbourhood. These gardens are an important part of city life, allowing those that live in apartments or without yards a chance to grow produce and providing a social hub at which they can meet more of their neighbours.

Getting these started in our community is more of a challenge than it seems: land is at a premium in our neighbourhood and finding appropriate space is difficult. We’ve opted to take a different approach, building temporary community gardens (2-5 years or more) on vacant land slated for development. This way we get garden plots and better use out of (currently) unused land.

We’ve tentatively identified a lot to use for 2017 and beyond in a prominent spot in our community. Things are moving quickly, and we are still finalizing some details at time of publication. We’ll be hosting a first meeting for interested gardeners on April 2 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. in the Somerset Room at the Plant Recreation Centre.

Our aim is to be ready for planting by the Victoria Day long weekend.

For more details (and to RSVP) please go to bit.ly/DCAgarden (case sensitive).

Booth Street Complex and Greenspace Needs

As you know, the Canada Lands Corporation has begun the process of planning what to do with the Booth Street Complex. There was an initial open house in the winter, and there will be a series of working group and public meetings over the spring and summer. The expectation is that applications will be made to the City in early 2018.

The Booth Street complex is a very large development, and Canada Lands seems to be approaching its redevelopment with a blank slate. This is a welcome change from other brownfield proposals that come mostly done.

One area in particular that we would like to focus on is in park and recreation space. The DCA will be pushing for Canada Lands to designate land to meet the city’s park requirements (and not give cash, as is common with other projects).

While it seems unlikely that the site will become a large park, there’s an opportunity to highlight the exact kind of thing that we are looking for on the site. Our community has specific needs, and as the ultimate users of the parks or community space that is there, its important we make our voice heard.

It’s important we hear from all types of users, including those with young families and seniors.

We’ll be having a community brainstorming session on March 25 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Preston BIA offices (118A Preston St.) Representatives from CLC will be on hand. We will also use this input for other major developments in the area.

If you can’t make it, please tell us your comments and ideas at bit.ly/DCAparks.

Keep in Touch!

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