Wait list FAQ

Q: How long is the CRCG waitlist?

A: Currently the waitlist has over 550 people waiting.

Q: How long have people been waiting for a plot?

A: We will be contacting people who came onto the list in 2020 starting in March, 2025. 4 – 5 years.

Q. How long will people at the bottom of the list have to wait?

A: At present, those people will wait an estimated 7 years for a plot.

Q. Why is the wait for a garden plot so long?

A: Every year we have more people joining the wait list than we have garden plots available. The demand for garden space has been increasing, but the space available for community gardens in municipalities has not. Amenities such as green space have not kept up with population growth in the TriCities where a great many of our members live.

Q. When will the waitlist be reopened?

A: Once the wait for a garden plot is no longer than 2-3 years, we will reopen the list. Please check back for an update on the CRCG Waitlist and projected reopening date in 2025.

Q: Why are existing gardeners allowed to garden more than 1 plot when the waitlist is so long?

A: We have 350 members at present. Growing beyond this number of members by limiting the number of plots existing members are permitted is problematic, for the following reasons:

1. Maintaining Community

The challenge of creating a sense of community among our members who form a very diverse group is considerable with 350 members.  Our success as an organization depends on the cooperation and commitment of members to the  community garden as a whole, which is entirely maintained by members (ie. we have no on-site staff).  Over time, members become increasingly committed to the organization and to one another.  There is an evolution from caring about one’s own plot, to caring about the whole garden.

2.  Park Infrastructure

The parking lot at the Community Gardens serves all park users, and has only 70 parking spaces.  We are already experiencing the closure of the parking lot on busy week-ends because it is full.  There is no provision for “overflow”.  This is frustrating.  Though we have lobbied for more parking, both Metro Vancouver and the Kwikwetlem First Nation are opposed to expansion.

3. Multiple Plots

At present, we have 337 members as well as 157 associate members cultivating 581 plots.  On average, gardeners have 1.57 plots. Relatively few gardeners have the maximum plots allowed of 4 plots amounting to a garden of 1000 square feet. 

4. Useful Scale Comparison

Baraga allotment garden in Burnaby is similar in overall area to our gardens (10 acres vs. our 7 acres).  Members there can only have one plot.  However, their one plot is the equivalent of 4 of our plots, 1,000 square feet!  We believe that the 4-plot limit at Colony Farm is appropriate for those gardeners who have the time, energy and expertise to look after that size of garden, given the scale of the community gardens overall, and its remoteness, requiring vehicle access and some commuting. Only when a gardener demonstrates that they can properly look after their original garden, and after reapplying to the waitlist, can a gardener add a plot.  

5.  Annual allocation to new members vs.increasing demand for plots
12 new gardeners were welcomed to the garden in May,2024.  We now have 337 members + 157 associate members who are cultivating 581 plots this season. In 2023 we took in 35 new members, having had attrition of about 10% of our membership.  In 2022, we took in 40 new members.  (40 members is comparable to establishing a new community garden in a more urban area.)  We will continue to welcome new gardeners to the gardens each year.  However, we cannot possibly accommodate the current demand. With the growth in population in the Tri-Cities we have seen a dramatic increase in demand for community garden space, and recreational facilities generally. 
 
We would like to say to people who ask about joining and are dismayed by the wait: “You are guaranteed a plot if you put your name on the list.”  We encourage all who are interested to apply to the waitlist once it reopens. 
 
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