Our Story

About

Groundswell is a  Living Classroom that teachers people of all ages how to grow crops regeneratively. Groundswell plays an increasingly integral role in Food Sustainability for the Valley. It has been designated a valley Essential Service.

Groundswell Community Passive Solar Greenhouse and  Community Gardens is located in Invermere, BC. Open year round, the main focus being Spring thru Fall with “as Nature intended” all natural market garden veggies, herbs and fruits. Groundswell continues to develop composting research and production, Living Soil initiatives and regenerative/permaculture practices. Hands on workshops and events for our members, general public, schools and community organizations. We are dedicated to bringing education, skills, healthy growing practices and food to the communities of the Columbia Valley and we support the Columbia Valley Food Bank with fresh produce.

Mission

Groundswell Community Greenhouse and Gardens promotes community sustainability through education and by the advancement of innovative projects that result in health for people, the environment and the economy. Our Community Greenhouse and Gardens are shining examples of the power of collaborative community effort.

History

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Groundswell seedling: The Groundswell Community Greenhouse and Gardens had its start as the Columbia Valley Botanical Gardens in 2000. Their mission was to develop plant collections and gardens that protected plant species and to help advance public understanding of the importance of biodiversity to the survival and the quality of all life on the earth.
Growth: Today, the CVBG is now Groundswell Community Greenhouse and Gardens but we have not abandoned our roots in the plant world, rather we have added value and broadened our scope to include all areas of human activity as it affects our sustainable future. Renewable energy, water, food, plants, green transportation, local economic development; these are just a few of the areas Groundswell continues to deliver successful projects in at a community level. In reality all of these project relate to the living world of which plants are a vital component.
School garden plus: The inspiration for the Community Greenhouse in Invermere BC came when the Groundswell Community Greenhouse and Gardens and teachers from David Thompson Secondary School sat down together to discuss the possibility of creating a school garden. The idea was a good one, except for the fact that the school year and the growing season didn’t match up. The conversation led to the idea of a season-extending greenhouse, with opportunities that would benefit the entire community.
A Community Greenhouse team was formed and charged with conducting a feasibility analysis. They concluded that community interest was there and so the next step was to choose the location. They selected the property adjacent to the school, which was made available by Rocky Mountain School District 6, under a license of occupation. That was in 2006.
Growing real: When the location was settled, there followed research on design, programming, staffing and legal models. In all, 24 local groups had input into the plans and 35 funders contributed to the project. Several events raised awareness within the community.
The actual construction of the community greenhouse began in the spring of 2008 and the entire community pitched in to help with the building – more than 300 volunteers in all. Just short of a year later, the Community Greenhouse Grand Opening was held.