1) When did the vision for the garden originate?
It was a vision from one of our Chaparral residents in February 2011 who attended her first CCA meeting and brought the idea forward at that time. This vision took 14 months of planning.
2) How many team members are currently on the Committee?
Currently there are 7 members on the Chaparral Community Green Thumbs Committee team.
3) Where is the garden located?
The garden is located on the east side of St. Sebastian’s Elementary School.
4) How will the garden be maintained?
It will be maintained by all of the plot owners and the garden committee as each person that owns a plot also has a volunteer maintenance position on an annual basis.
5) Why is the garden located where it is?
Multiple hours of research was conducted with both the Chaparral Green Thumbs and the City of Calgary to assess which location in Chaparral would meet the garden needs. Things such as visibility, parking, wheel chair accessibility, irrigation, exposure, and city land allocated for future development were all taken into consideration. After much deliberation, it was determined that the field next to the school was the most optimal location for both the needs of the garden and of the community as a whole.
6) Why is the garden located right next to the soccer field?
This area is actually city of Calgary land and was set aside for future community development. The soccer association was contacted several times and confirmed they were fine with the garden development, as according to city sources, the field is not to regulation size according to proper soccer field dimensions.
7) Isn’t the garden on school property?
No, as per the above response, this land is not school property; it is City of Calgary land in which the Chaparral Green Thumbs obtained an official city license to utilize for a community garden.
8) How much is it to rent a garden plot?
It costs $25.00 per year to rent a plot if you have a current CCA membership; otherwise it is $50.00 per year. There is also a $50.00 refundable damage deposit required and a $5.00 refundable key deposit to access the shed and compost unit.
9) As the plots are already taken, how can I ever get a plot?
Anyone that came out for our official build day received first right of refusal to a plot. As these plots have now all been spoken for, if a current plot holder does not rent out a plot the following year, a plot will be open to people on a waiting list. There are also plans for phase 2 of the garden, where another set of plots will be available to rent. Currently we are running a waiting list for this phase.
10) How is the garden funded?
All of the garden costs were covered by funds raised by donations from local community and city companies. Please visit our website at www.chapgreenthumbs.ca/sponsors to see a list of our sponsors.
11) How will you try to reduce vandalism taking place at the garden?
We have installed a security camera at the garden site and the school has proposed installing cameras in behind the school. We will also be posting signs indicating that the site is being monitored along with installing a motion sensor. We have also connected with our community constable who we will be in touch with should there be any acts of vandalism at the garden site.
12) Was St. Sebastian School involved in the garden?
The school played an integral part in the planning of the garden and were very cooperative in allowing trucks and vehicles to utilize the parking lot, communicate the garden plans in the school newsletter and working with the Garden Committee to ensure the safety of kids and residents during build day. The school also has rented out one of the garden beds and several classes have been involved with planting seeds in the school plot.
13) What are the plans for future development of another phase?
If there is enough interest, the Chaparral Green Thumbs have future plans to implement another phase consisting of an additional 20 plots. At this time, the location of the next plot is proposed directly to the North side of the current plot.
14) Why can’t the garden site have fencing around it to protect it?
Unfortunately City of Calgary by-laws state that a fence can only be to a maximum of three feet high and cannot be locked as it is not private land and must have the ability for the public access it. Due to this by-law unfortunately we cannot completely prevent vandalism to the site; however we will be planting shrubs and bushes around the garden to create a perimeter around the site.
15) How can I get in touch with a garden committee member or find out more information?
You can reach the Chaparral Green Thumbs either via the website at www.chapgreenthumbs.ca or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org