Proposed garden causes controversy

The future of a proposed community garden that has raised the ire of a Rimbey resident who wants to see it shut down

The future of a proposed community garden that has raised the ire of a Rimbey resident who wants to see it shut down before it even gets into the ground, will be discussed at a council meeting next month.

Dave Karroll has already garnered 44 signatures on a petition opposing Coun. Gayle Rondeel’s proposal to create a community garden in a green space at Eastview Crescent and 45 Street.

Karroll said the garden must not be planted, much less allowed to come to fruition.

Karroll said Rondeel never approached the residents of Eastview Crescent about plans for the garden, nor received permission from council.

He is also concerned because she brought in town equipment to prepare the ground for the garden.

He is concerned the garden will affect the residents’ enjoyment of the natural space, deteriorate property values and result in produce being thrown in nearby yards when vandals raid it.

He said the current community garden south of Wilson’s Funeral Home is an eyesore. “It’s a quagmire of quack grass and weeds.”

Coun. Gayle Rondeel said community gardens need the backing of the neighborhood in which they are planted to be successful.

“Never did I imagine a community garden would be offensive to anyone. I’m very zealous about the community garden, however, in retrospect the Eastview Community should have been notified.”

Rondeel plans to chat with the residents individually and also hold a special meeting April 4 at 7 p.m. in the Kinsmen Room at the Rimbey Community Centre to discuss the proposal.

“I hope that the good folks of Eastview will support the community garden and welcome it into their neighborhood and reap all the benefits the garden has to offer.”

She said the area by Eastview Crescent was selected as it is open, has accessibility to water and is a green space seldom used. She said the issue was discussed with the CAO and also at a council’s committee of the whole meeting.

“It (Eastview Crescent) seemed like the idea location. The town had black soil that had to be removed from a borrow pit that wasn’t far away and we put the soil on the garden site. I disced it with my own tractor and equipment in preparation for the 2013 season.”

Rondeel noted snow and ice from street cleaning has been piled on the previous garden, damaging the soil.

“The work that was done at the garden never improved the soil and the quack grass is still out of control,” she said.