A community garden or orchard, improved water access and trail development are all among potential uses of two new parcels of Crown land recently acquired by the Village of Pemberton.
Spud Valley lawmakers announced this month that the village successfully obtained tenure for Lots 8 and 20, located just east of Pemberton proper, and ideas are now being floated about how to best make use of the land.
But mostly, community agricultural initiatives are what the village is looking to pursue on the two parcels, which together cover nearly six hectares of land.
The lots are located near the intersection of Harrow Road and Hemlock Street — Lot 8 runs from the junction of the roads back to the Lillooet River, while the larger Lot 20 sits two lots east of the intersection.
Pemberton staff is expected to issue a report to council regarding the potential of those and other lots for future community agricultural use. But the village will also be engaging stakeholders like the Pemberton Farmers' Institute and local equestrian groups for their input on the future of the land.
Manager of development services Caroline Lamont told council on July 22 that officials with Surrey's Kwantlen University have also expressed interest in helping to establish a community garden or orchard in Pemberton, and the two new lots could provide a good space for those kinds of projects.
"I think it's super exciting," said Councillor Mike Richman. "I've always wanted to look at a community greenhouse, too.
"I think there are a ton of ideas that we haven't even touched on yet."
The village also sees some opportunity with Lot 8 due to its situation along the river, as public access to the Lillooet is something local government agencies have continually looked to improve.
"That will hopefully provide a different level of water access to the town," chief administrative officer Daniel Sailland said during a council meeting earlier this month.
Councillor Ted Craddock also mentioned that the Pemberton Valley Trails Association has expressed interest in completing some work on the lots.
Council will not sit again for a regular meeting until Sept. 2, when the report is expected to appear.
NEW FIRE CHIEF NAMED
Robert Grossman has been hired as Pemberton's new fire chief, taking over the position from Russell Mack, who announced his retirement earlier this year.
Grossman's first day on the job will be Sept. 2, said a July 23 press release, which will give him "a generous transition and training period" before Mack leaves the department.
Grossman has most recently been the acting chief for the Emergency Services Department in Taber, Alta. Previously, he spent 12 years with the Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue Department.
"My wife and I are looking forward to returning to B.C. and becoming part of the Pemberton community," Grossman said in the release. "Under Chief Mack's leadership, the department has really thrived; he's been an incredible advocate for the fire department and its services. I hope to build on the strong foundation that he leaves."
Festival feedback sought
Whether you live or work in Pemberton, Area C or Mount Currie, the village is seeking feedback on the Pemberton Music Festival from valley residents and business owners.
The village launched an online survey last week, which contains two-dozen questions covering a wide range of topics — including business impacts, shuttle and parking effectiveness, and overall impressions of the event that ran July 16 to 20.
Visit www.pemberton.ca to access the survey, the results of which will appear before council and festival producers HUKA Entertainment during post-event meetings later this summer.