As of October 14, the Family Drop-In is now open! We’ve had a slow start, but have seen a few keen families so far. As we move along, we are still making many connections with other community organizations and hoping that word will spread about the drop-in. We are positive that, with time and circulation by word of mouth, our drop-in will be a booming hang out! There certainly is no lack of vision, creativity, and tasks to do for our potential participants! It’s wonderful to see the cohesion of the staff, interns and YO Team as our individual talents shine to make a brilliant whole.
On October 19, we hosted an Open House for the Family Drop-In.
Small progress has been made with regards to getting the double-wide portable moved into KinPark. We presented to North Cowichan Parks and Rec and the City of Duncan about our plans for the drop-in and the building. It was agreed to, in principle, with a tremendous amount of appreciation for the work we do, but we are still waiting for approval from City Council. There are many hoops we have to jump through to get the building to code, which we are patiently maneuvering. A ramp and deck must be built for the portable, so we are hoping to partner with the CVOLC Carpentry program to build these.
For the meantime, we have been trying to create a cozy environment in the old pool building. We have started insulating it in an attempt to retain some of the heat in the incredibly drafty area. Pat Amos came in to plaster finish the cob bench, and Wes Hyde has been working on our solar hot water system to heat the bench. Their generosity and expertise are greatly appreciated! Now that we’re no longer fighting the drought and the fall rains have set in, you can be assured that we’ll have a pot of hot tea on, so come drop-in!
In order to make the park a safe place, we have been working the North Cowichan and the principal of Cowichan Secondary to find a temporary solution for the youth smoking pit in the NE corner of the park. We all decided that it would be best to keep the area where it is for the time being, as long as the kids help keep it clean. An ash can, recycling bin, and picnic table were installed, along with a fresh load of gravel. So far, the space has remained quite clean and we are all happy with the arrangement. After all, we want the kids in the park, just not their unsavory habits!
KinPark Farm News
While crops slow down with the cooler temperatures, we are busy cleaning up, clearing out, and assessing the needs of the urban farm. We have some exciting projects slated for winter including trellising our raspberries, building more raised beds, expanding the food forest, building signage and incorporating vertical structures into the growing areas.
While the seasonal focus of the farm changes, our goal of working with youth grows stronger and bigger. At the end of October, we welcomed two new Canada World Youth participants: Rahmi from Indonesia and her counterpart, Jason, from Toronto. These hard-working, kind-hearted youth will be working with us for the next three months. Their enthusiasm is infectious and we look forward to having them around.
Our interns, Youth Outreach team had staff have been busy! Choose from a variety of salsas, pickles, relishes, jellies and jams all made with KinPark produce. We also have a variety of dehydrated herbs, cured garlic and kuri squashes. All items are now available in our Garden Pantry Thrift Shop. All proceeds go to support our youth interns as well as farm and programming supplies for the drop-in centre.
KinPark Wish List
Spoiled hay or straw for mulch
Orchard wire (for trellising our raspberries)
KinPark Fall Leaf Drive
We are currently accepting donations of clean (ie. containing no morning glory) leaves, maple preferably, on the farm. Please drop them off to the park at the end of Ypres St. Leaves should be bagged and placed on the park side of the black fence. Thank you in advance! We will put them to good use.
Kin Park Community Gardens – Fall Clean up
On October 17th, we hosted our annual fall clean up at the community gardens. The rain did not dampen our spirits as we cleaned out the tool shed, reorganized the compost area and tamed the overgrown berry patch. Thank you to all of our devoted gardeners (Tom, Ron, Hank, Lynn and Harry) who were able to make it out and lend a hand. It was a great day and lots was done!
For the third year running, we are welcoming students from VIU’s WEST program (Workplace Essential Skills Training), formerly the Employability Skills program, back to the urban farm. On Thursdays, these dynamic students work alongside us with the goal of gaining valuable employability skills. We also incorporate opportunities for social enterprise including making garden-themed and up-cycled crafts for our Garden Pantry Thrift Shop and growing plants for a spring sidewalk sale.