Resplendent with young flowers and vegetables growing in wood planter boxes, it was clear local gardeners just couldn’t keep the dirt from their fingernails while waiting for the official opening of the Banff Community Greenhouse, Monday (June 27).
In all, 34 mini gardens have been planted in the new community structure built at the Banff Rec Grounds.
On Monday, though, gardeners and politicians alike gathered for an official garland cutting ceremony.
Bob Lutz, president of the Banff Community Garden Society, said it was an exciting day in the mountain town, “because of the number of people who came together to make this happen.
“It shows the importance of quality food, the joy of gardening and just getting out to see people in the community.”
Mayor Karen Sorenson ducked out of a finance meeting for the opening and said, “this shows the involvement of the community in this project. This project from the start seemed to get a life of its own.”
Sorenson thanked the provincial government for its support, “and I want to give a very special thanks to the society, what a great group of people.
“I’m used to things taking quite a long time to happen, but this only took a year to put together and two-and-a half weeks to build. I often speak about a complete community, grassroots, and this structure and the people speak so highly to that.”
MLA Janis Tarchuk was also on hand for the opening. “When I first heard about the idea of this, I thought it was perfect for Banff.”
Due to wildlife and weather difficulties, Banff is a difficult spot for gardeners, said Tarchuk. “But I want to congratulate everybody on this project and I’m glad the province was able to be a partner. I admire the goals of providing a healthy source of nutritious food and of getting involved with an educational aspect.”
Major partners include the provincial government, Town of Banff, Banff Community Foundation, Bow Valley Credit Union, CP Rail, Leader Services and Restorations, GE Water Process Technologies, Alpine Medical Clinic and the Alberta Lottery Fund.
Many other sponsors assisted with the greenhouse, as did many volunteers who contributed to the construction of the structure.
Along with the actual greenhouse, which was purchased as a kit, the foundation of the greenhouse features recycled cedar siding and Rundle stone from the old Donald Cameron Hall at The Banff Centre.