Second greenhouse in the works 0
(QMI Agency file photo)
Council flexed their green thumb Monday by approving in-kind help from town staff towards the cultivation of a second greenhouse in Banff. Town staffers were given the OK to further assist the Banff Greenhouse Gardening Society (BGGS) as the organization weeds through funding and permit applications. The town will also give logistical support during ordering and construction phases.
The first greenhouse, built in 2011 at the Rec Grounds, continues to annually rake in up to 70 applications for the 34 plots available, with 20 of these plots being relinquished back into the lottery system this year. (Gardeners may keep their plots for two years.) So when the opportunity arose for a second greenhouse to be constructed on the rooftop of the Cascade Plaza, BGGS president Bob Lutz said this additional facility would help to fully satisfy the need for plots in town.
“This is wonderful to see this happening,” Coun. Leslie Taylor said. “And in a different location — couldn’t be better.”
In January, Matrix Real Estate Service confirmed a $25,000 contribution offer to the BGGS, as well as a provision of a small portion of the Cascade Plaza rooftop parkade space to have the greenhouse. The society also recently secured a $10,000 Thrive on Wellness grant through Alberta Health Services.
The cost for a greenhouse similar to the one at the Rec Grounds is $35,000, however, this second one would not require an expensive foundation, as environmental coordinator Chad Townsend estimates almost half of the cost of the existing greenhouse was on foundation alone.
But there are some potential accessibility issues that will need to be addressed though: there is no elevator access for the last flight of stairs to the roof and it might not be a child-friendly area like the Rec Grounds. But, this greenhouse avoids open wildlife attractants and could be made in such a way that it could be re-located if required.
A development permit is required by the Municipal Planning Commission and would likely need a variance on required parking for as long as the greenhouse is there.
“I want to thank Matrix Real Estate Service,” Mayor Karen Sorensen said. “It’s always refreshing for us when private and public do projects together.”