A new community garden with plants Indigenous to the area was opened on Friday at Colwood’s City Hall.
Created in partnership between the Colwood Garden Society and indigenous elders, the garden will be used to offer learning programs as well as growing produce for food security.
The City of Colwood provided funding for the garden through their a grant, and says that mainstays of First Nations such as roots, berries, flowers and shrubs will be grown.
These plants will also attract vital pollinators such as bees to the area, as these insects become increasingly rare.
At the opening ceremony for the garden, Brother Rick, an Elder from Beecher Bay and a counsellor in School District 62’s Aboriginal Education Program, welcomed people to the garden with a blessing and welcome song.
This was followed by a smudging ceremony performed by Royal Bay Secondary student Jay Raryk.
Visitors to the garden will also be able to learn about the plants, language and culture of the area with interpretive signage that includes English and First Nations names.
As the garden grows, food will also be shared through the Living Edge Food for the Hungry program. Other plots will be dedicated “teaching gardens” for students to learn about nature, food and health.