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Berry interesting proposal

Residents of one Victoria neighbourhood believe a boulevard beautification plan could bear fruit — literally.

Members of the James Bay Neighbourhood Association are mulling plans to plant berry bushes along public boulevards in Victoria's oldest residential area, in the shadow of the B.C. legislature.

Association president Marg Gardiner says two sites are specified in a proposal that will be presented to city council later this week.

The types of berry bushes haven't been decided and Gardiner says it will be up to volunteers to plant, maintain and harvest.

The association's boulevard gardening project is aimed at supporting gardeners and improving food security in the heritage neighbourhood.

Dwarf apple and fig trees have already been planted, and a community herb garden has also been created.

Gardiner says one possible location for a berry boulevard is close to the Inner Harbour, near a former hotel which is currently being converted to condos.

"So there will be a lot of people living in there permanently, and actually the operators of that were quite keen on what we're doing too, because they realize there will be a lot of residents nearby that might like this," Gardiner says.

The city promotes a boulevard gardening program, complete with guidelines that support its goals of "creating healthy and diverse ecosystems, vibrant and attractive streets and improving local food security."



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