Posted on Feb 26, 2024
Many people in Prince George depend on food banks. The ever increasing cost of fresh fruits and vegetables adds to this already serious need in the community. Local Rotarians and Rotaractors aim to achieve more self sufficiency in growing fruit and vegetables and provide healthy food to those in need.
Prince George residents who do not have their own garden space can now grow their own fruit and vegetables if they rent a plot at the new Rotary Community Garden completed in the Fall. The Garden may contribute in part to the supply of fruit and vegetables at local food banks.
The Rotary Clubs of Prince George Yellowhead, which led the project, Prince George Nechako and Prince George Downtown plus Prince George Rotaract contributed the majority of funds, with support of a $10,000 District Grant, to the $76,450 project, along with other sponsors. 
The hands on work of Rotarians, Rotaractors and friends in building and installing the 27 planter boxes (one wheelchair accessible) within a fenced area made a huge contribution. 
Through a series of weekly workbees attended by up to 30 members of the four Prince George Rotary and Rotaract clubs from June to September 2023. They installed water lines and electrical conduit, levelled the ground for the planter boxes, built the boxes, filled them with soil, spread limerock on the walkways between the beds and more. That contribution of over 600 hours of volunteer labour is valued at $15,000.
The Rotary Community Garden, located at the University of Northern British Columbia, is a part of the expansion of the David Douglas Botanical Garden. It includes the planter boxes, a secure shed for tool storage and produce handling and space for composting.  Additionally, Spring 2024 will see the garden enhanced by the planting of perennials and shrubs around the Garden perimeter.  Future plans also call for a central gazebo with benches to be the Garden focal point for rest and reflection.
A Community Garden and Gardeners Handbook, produced by the Rotary Club of Radium Hot Springs, provided a guide to the ongoing operations of the Garden which will be managed by the David Douglas Botanical Garden Society.  The Garden Society also provided design and project management services for the Garden development.
The Recycling & Environmental Action Planning Society (REAPS) of Prince George has also relocated its “Growing Knowledge Community Compost Garden” immediately adjacent to the Rotary Garden; perfectly positioned to see the two Gardens working together in support of one another.   
Other contributors were the Regional District of Fraser Fort George, the BC Ministry of Tourism and the Northern Development Initiative Trust.