Teen gardeners get their hands dirty

Summer 2015 Teen Takeover, the Garden Project, enriches Putl’iixw Community Garden

Last summer BCVLS started a new project for Bella Coola Valley teenagers

Last summer, through Vancouver Coastal Health’s SMART Fund with an aim of encouraging youth initiative for long term community development, Bella Coola Valley Learning Society (BCVLS) started a new project for Bella Coola Valley teenagers. As facilitator, I entrusted a few interested teens with the responsibility of co-developing this new project. The name “Teen Takeover” was collectively invented and our first theme of interest was “food,” learning where it comes from and how we might be able to produce it ourselves.

Summer 2015 Teen Takeover, The Garden Project, set out on a series of field trips to witness how local valley dwellers are currently achieving successful food production and management. Together we learned a little about soil building, greenhouse culture, handling livestock, and how insanely distracting cute lambs can be! Diving right in, we planted our own seeds in the yard of New Leaf Learning Centre, located behind Mackenzie United Church, and watched the seedlings mature into a healthy garden.

Energized by a successful strawberry patch and equipped with a brief documentary we made of their achievements, sisters Claudia and Catriona Nelson committed to making sure the project continued this year. We shared Teen Takeover’s efforts with B.C. Hydro and applied for B.C. Hydro Community Investment Funding to establish The Garden Project for another season, and our wish was granted! BCVLS and all those involved in the project want to give B.C. Hydro a big thank you for its recognition of the Bella Coola Valley and its generous investment in the community.

This year we started off steady, but unfortunately in mid-spring, our garden suffered damage which pushed us to move the project into 4 Mile and become a part of the Putl’iixw Community Garden, a move which is turning out to be a very positive change. Corissa Lee, Putl’iixw Garden manager, welcomed us with tools and water to share. “This is better,” said Claudia Nelson, viewing the progress of her garden plot being rebuilt and personally shoveling in the fertile soil. Teen Takeover now feels at home in Putl’iixw and we are looking forward to the project developing in the comfort of the community garden.

All in all this season was another success: we nurtured seedlings, got our hands in the dirt (and sheepishly in the manure), gained knowledge from those more experienced and, with a big shout out to Taslynn Nelson, we have homemade pickles on our shelves! Claudia and Catriona are receiving honorariums for their achievements within the project this year.

Having survived a few challenges and feeling positive about the future, Teen Takeover would like to sincerely say thank you to Vancouver Coastal Health and B.C. Hydro for inspiring youth, to Bella Coola Valley Learning Society for supporting this initiative, to New Leaf Learning Centre for being a generous host, to Putl’iixw Community Garden for so willingly accommodating us, and to Corissa for her hard work and accomplishments within the Putl’iixw Community Garden. We end this summer seeing greater possibilities for the next! Until then!

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC SPCA team helps discover new feline virus after outbreak at Quesnel shelter

Fechavirus is a kind of parvovirus, which makes cats and kittens very sick

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Commercial salmon fisheries delayed for Bella Coola area

DFO notice says Area C gill net fisheries in Area 8 have been delayed until June 15

Pacific Coastal won’t open until community is ready

The company has suspended operations until further notice

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Most Read