The following letter was sent to Mayor and Council on behalf of the DRA board:
July 23, 2015
Dear Mayor and Council,
The Victoria Downtown Residents Association (DRA) would like to take this opportunity to offer our support to the City of Victoria’s “Growing in the City” initiative and the policies for food security and food production in Objective 8 of the City’s Strategic Plan.
We understand that the City is looking to build on the success of current initiatives, but may not have considered the downtown as a viable option due to limited access to both public and private lands. The DRA recognizes the importance of securing suitable locations now for community gardens, boulevard gardening and the planning and planting of fruit and nut trees in the neighbourhoods of Downtown and Harris Green.
A downtown resident and a member of the DRA, Janet Strauss, sits as a member of the City’s Support for Local Food Systems Committee, and is an enthusiastic supporter and advocate for urban food production, and is leading the DRA’s vision to ensure that community gardens become a reality in downtown Victoria. As part of the City’s long-term vision for food systems, the DRA asks that the City consider the following:
Add the Victoria Public Market to the schedule of “Growing in the City” booths that the City has planned this summer and hear what downtown residents have to say
Consider food production trees in the City of Victoria’s Tree Replacement plan
Provide financial incentives to private land owner who offer their vacant or hard surface lots for use as community gardens
Work with the DRA to help identify appropriate lands in the downtown and Harris Green
Nicholas Harrington Kaela Schramm Co-Chairs Downtown Residents Association