GREENWAYS | When did you start working with Greenways Land Trust?
ANN | Greenways first caught my attention through their on-going restoration work on the Myrt Thompson trail and the annual Broom Bash in the estuary. I joined their fairly new food security project, the Strathcona Food Security Network, as a volunteer in 2015. Besides that I am looking after Greenways’ community garden plot that they have at the Campbellton Community Garden. I help with weeding, planting and watering it.
GREENWAYS | How do you primarily spend your time when you are not volunteering for Greenways?
ANN | I am a member of lots of different kinds of organizations, like the Strathcona Food Security Network, I am the treasurer of the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association (CNA) and I am the chair of the Campbellton Community Garden. I spend a lot of time educating myself and I work part-time bookkeeping. My medical condition keeps me from networking as much as I would like to. But when I am at the community garden I get to network with people which is great and it is a safe space. It also helps me spread my income better by producing healthy organic food. The more organic I eat the better I feel. With the CNA for example we are looking for spaces to create more community gardens. We haven’t had any luck yet but we are on the lookout. There is a lot of interest from all ages in our community for more gardens. In our community garden we have created a community herb bed for everyone to share. Another bed has been donated to the Campbell River Food Bank. While the Food Bank was responsible for what was planted in the bed, all gardeners stepped in last year and helped with the maintenance. A Seedy Sunday event and Food Bank bed were two dreams that I had. I am so happy to see them actually happening.
GREENWAYS | What do you think is Greenways’ biggest success that you have been a part of?
ANN | The launch of the Strathcona Food Security Hub is a great success. In particular I am very proud of one recent goal we reached together with several other community partners. Thanks to Linda Nagle from the City of Campbell River we were able to celebrate our first local “Plant Sale, Seedy Sunday & Garden Expo“ at the Community Centre on March 19, 2017. The event was a great success and we are looking forward to running it on an annual basis.
GREENWAYS | How would you describe the CR community regarding volunteer engagement?
ANN | There seems to be a lot of people that are interested in volunteering in Campbell River. That is one of the things that really impressed me about the area. I moved here from Edmonton five years ago because I wanted to be closer to my sister.
GREENWAYS | Which is your favourite CR greenway and why?
ANN | The Canyon View Trail is one of my favourite greenways in Campbell River. Its scenery is spectacular and one gets a good portion of excercise along the way. I get to enjoy the beauty while I keep myself healthy.
GREENWAYS | If you had a magic ball that would let you see ten years into the future, how would CR and its greenways have improved?
ANN | We would be having several farm villages in the Campbell River area. I am now thinking of a good example which is the Ross Mountain Farm that there already is. The farm villages would be located on the outscirts of the city mostly. There is even land in the city that could be used to create farm villages. Because we are on an island, the majority, around 99%, of our food is imported. What would happen to our food supply in case of an earthquake? The food supply for the whole island has to be improved to guarantee our survival. Food, air and water – we can’t live without those things. You can survive without money in our society. That is possible. But food, air and water are necessities, as well as a home and clothing.
GREENWAYS | What rewards do you receive from volunteering?
ANN | I am getting rewarded by doing my part as a contributing member of society. It is important to give back and not only take.