Seeds will get growing again as the Town of View Royal reopens its community gardens after they had been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
New restrictions are worked out so community members can make use of the gardens in a safe manner. According to e-mails from the Town, the plan is to be in place until BC Health removes social distancing recommendations.
During the April 14 special council meeting, View Royal council decided to keep the gardens closed based on requirements for public health and safety. Letters to council from residents expressed a desire to have the gardens open again, especially as the growing season gets underway.
About one month ago, Mayor David Screech wrote a Facebook post in which he said he was “confident that by the time gardening season begins” protocols and policies would be figured out to reopen the gardens.
Screech told Black Press Media that he thinks View Royal staff have put “a lot of thought” into how the gardens will be opened.
“They were closed out of an abundance of caution at a time when staff were making decisions quickly,” Screech said. “When the dust had settled, staff had the time to plan.”
Moving forward, those who have a garden plot will be contacted by a View Royal staff member to arrange a schedule. Once the schedule has been finalized, the Town will move forward with the opening.
New guidelines for gardeners include washing hands with soap and water before and after attending the garden; avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth; practising physical distancing of two metres at all times; staying home if sick and avoiding those who are.
Gardeners can only visit the garden during their allocated time slot and shared tools will not be available. A one-time opportunity to retrieve tools from the tool shed during the first week of opening will be provided. If using the hose, gardeners must wear gloves at all times and not touch any common surfaces with bare hands.
Signage will be located around the gardens to remind gardeners about the new measures.