Keremeos’ community garden caretaker is looking to find some support to help get a new set of wheels under him after his motorized wheelchair burned out.
The old scooter was McCormick’s main mode of transportation, as well as a useful tool for the garden.
“In the gardens I used it as my tractor, and I built a harrow and worked the ground and well I guess I worked it too hard,” said McCormick. “It was an old scooter and all I could afford at the time, because, well, my money is for the garden.”
Any day during the year, odds are you can spot McCormick outside in the garden, watering, weeding, pruning, planting and doing everything else he can to maintain the garden. While there are others who assist with the garden, the majority of the day-to-day work is all done by the 75-year-old.
From melons to squash to corn, much of what is grown in the garden McCormick donates, including to the local long-term-care facility, and everything else is free to whomever comes by.
“I don’t want to disappoint the community, and let the community down,” said McCormick. “I started all this with my longing to have a ‘comeback garden’, my ‘joy to be alive and see spring again’ garden, but the fever has caught on in the community.”
It’s not just people within the community who are avid enjoyers of the garden, but people who pass through have often made it a stop on their trips. In the last few years the positivity and interest in the garden has only grown.
“I watch transformations all the time. People come in and they’re in a particular mood and when they leave they’re someone else and that spurs me on.”
Beyond the community garden, McCormick is also a director on the board for the Lower Similkameen Community Services Society.
The old scooter burned out during a tour of the new community garden site across from the Ambrosia affordable housing development on Veterans Way.
McCormick has his eye set on a used John Deere Gator, which would serve as the main service vehicle for the garden, as well as transportation off of hard flat surfaces.
A GoFundMe to go towards the purchase of the new gator is being set up .
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