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Group calls on City of Prince George to buy Queensway Farm

A coalition of local groups hopes to create a ‘regional food hub’ on the five-acre site.
A group calling themselves the Queensway Five are asking the City of Prince George to purchase the Queensway Farm.

A coalition of local groups calling themselves the Queensway Five are asking the City of Prince George to purchase Queensway Farm, a five-acre historical farm, community garden and horse therapy site located near the Hudsons Bay Slough.

Owners Lynn and Ed Gilliard are looking to sell the land and the coalition of groups are hoping the city will buy the land to carry on the legacy of agriculture in the city. During a presentation to city council on Monday night, Lynn Gilliard said they made a promise, when they bought the land from the former owner, to ensure the land is used to grow food for people in Prince George.

“It grows everything, it is a beautiful piece of property,” she said. “In wanting to keep what we promised alive… we knew as we got older, we’d need to find somebody else to take care of the land. We’re hoping the city will partner in our desire to have a guardians’ garden for the future generations.”

The Queensway Five group is being facilitated by a group called Everyone At the Table (EAT), under the umbrella of the Recycling and Environmental Action Planning Society (REAPS), and supported by UNBC, the College of New Caledonia, Live Well PG, The Eco-Living Community, Community Future and the Queensway Community Garden.

Volunteer Karl Domes said the group is hoping the city will purchase the land, which would be held by REAPS in the interim until a formal non-profit group could be formed to manage the site.

Whiles plans for the site are still preliminary, Domes said, there is potential for partnerships with post-secondary institutions for agricultural research, expanded community gardens a “regional food hub,” a teaching space and more.

The Gilliards are asking "half the market value" for the land, he added.

“We envision it being a centre for food production,” Domes said.

City council voted to refer the matter to city administration, to report back to council with additional details.