Kamloops Gardengate program set for big expansion

By Vanessa Ybarra
December 3, 2017 - 5:19pm Updated: December 4, 2017 - 2:15pm

KAMLOOPS — Kamloops Gardengate Horticulture Program is growing its services thanks to a new space set to break ground this spring.

The farming program operated out of Brocklehurst has been teaching job and healthy living skills to people living with mental disabilities for twenty years.

The program funded by Interior Health employs approximately 40 people and has outgrown its current space.

Program Coordinator Robert Wright says the group is in the process of building a brand new two-thousand square foot facility, with construction set to break ground this spring.

"It's really been about seven hard years we've been working on this," said Wright. "With our own board at Open Door Group but also our community partners at Food Policy Council and Interior Health to really develop something that could be more long-term sustainable but also create a more dynamic environment."

The almost half a million dollar facility will be funded by Interior Health, Open Door Group and community grants.

It will include a large storage space, dining room, and commercial kitchen where cooking and other workshops will be held.

Every year Gardengate donates more than twenty-thousand pounds worth of fruits and vegetables to various community organizations including the Kamloops Food Bank.

Along with being able to accept more clients, Wright says the new space is hoped to get clients back into the workforce faster.

"It's an open ended program. We don't have a start and end date, we're open year around. Because everybody's on individualized plans and five people can start in one week what this does is increase our capacity so somebody doesn't feel they're limited to two days a week or maybe three days a week because we don't have the space."

The new building is expected to be built by winter of 2018.

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