Parksville Digs In

The City of Parksville addressed a growing community demand to participate in local food production. In a special Council meeting the Council passed an amendment to the zoning bylaw to permit urban food gardens in the City of Parksville.

Local food and climate action

Parksville’s rational for Urban Food Gardens speaks to the reduction in the use of fossil fuels for transportation by providing opportunities for locally grown food.Blaine Russell, the Manager of Current Planning, says, “At this point the program removes, what we believe, are the inherent obstacles to urban food production. The next step is a more active promotion to get the word out and encourage folks to do so.”

Urban Food Defined

The amendment defines “urban food garden” as the use of land on a limited scale (up to 20% of the parcel area) for the growing, harvesting and wholesaling of fruits, vegetables and edible plants.

Bylaw support

With this Bylaw, Parksville Council is actively demonstrating the importance of locally grown food. It is a means for Council to enable and support local food production in the City of Parksville. Mayor Ed Mayne said that, "This bylaw recognizes the importance of food and the contribution of urban food gardens to the local production of food. We hope this new bylaw will encourage entrepreneurialism and help move our community towards food self-sufficiency."  The City supports local food production through a variety of initiatives including urban and community gardens and the protection of agriculture lands within the City.

Food Miles

Awareness about food security is rising and with the globalization of the food system and the capacity to obtain food. In addition, growing locally cuts down on the emission generated by transporting food long distances.

Urban food garden use is intended to encourage awareness of the importance of locally grown food and to facilitate community participation in its production. Urban food gardens allow the use of non-agricultural lands, such as residential yards and vacant lots for the growing and harvesting of fruits and vegetables that may be exchanged or sold for profit. Under previous regulations, residents were allowed to have a fruit and vegetable garden for their own consumption but did not permit or encourage the redistribution of the harvest.

For more information Conatct Blaine Russell, Manager of Current Planning, City of Parksville BRussell@parksville.ca   

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