The park was once the backyard of Rex Welland, a well known local conservationist. For over twenty years Rex transformed his yard into a mixed orchard featuring more than 150 fruit trees & vines, and built a collection of 100 varieties of rare heritage apples. Rex was passionate about native bees and took meticulous notes on their habits and life cycles. To ensure the orchard would be used as a public resource Rex placed the land in trust with The Land Conservancy and gifted the property to the Town of View Royal. LifeCycles is humbled to be a part of this legacy. Rex’s passion, enthusiasm and dedication to ecosystem health inspired many, and with the help of our many volunteers we hope to build a public park that fulfills his dream.
To fulfill our dual mission of stewarding the orchard and educating the public on fruit tree cultivation and care, we share the knowledge of the Orchard in a variety of ways. On the first and third Sundays of every month, from March to October we host volunteer work parties – this is a great way to get involved and get some hands-on experience in growing fruit! We also host free community workshops, covering topics like Pruning, Grafting, Mushroom Growing, Native Pollinators, Cider Making and more.
We are also working diligently to catalogue and disseminate the many varieties of fruit that the Orchard holds. In addition to over 100 heritage apple varieties, we have pears, plums, grapes, kiwis, figs, quince, Asian pear, persimmon, paw paw, medlar, hazelnut, sour cherry, pluot and shipova. In 2016, with the help the BC Fruit Testers Association and some very dedicated volunteers we’ve begun to map and list the varieties. If you have any design or research skills that can help us with this project please get in touch!
From our heritage collection we have been selecting, grafting and growing out new trees in our on-site tree nursery. In the fall of 2017 we will be ready to distribute trees, with priority to community gardens and public parks in the region. If you are interested in hearing more about this part of the project, please get in touch with our Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are several ways you can get involved in this unique community orchard project. There's more information about volunteer opportunities here, and you can subscribe to our email list by sending a message to email@example.com
or like & subscribe to our Facebook page to stay on top of upcoming events and check out our photo albums.
We have an upcoming Community Orchard Info Session at the Town of View Royal on Thursday February 23rd, 2017 from 6-7:30 pm at 45 View Royal Ave. Drop by and find out more about the many ways to get involved, including our new Tree Steward volunteer program for those who want to zero in on their holistic tree care knowledge. If you can't make it but are interested in learning more, please get in touch via email.
The park is located at 1215 Stancil Lane, and is open to the public seven days a week from dawn to dusk. We're right on the Galloping Goose, and the 14, 22 and 50 buses have stops within walking distances. Knocken Hill Park is right across from our Burnside Rd W entrance.