The Sunken Gardens behind the Prince Rupert courthouse had a lot to celebrate on Friday, June 3.
The flowers are in bloom, and the grass is green all due to the dedication to the more than 50 volunteers who maintain the site. The other reason is the Port of Prince Rupert contributed $50,000 through its community investment fund, to install electrical and an irrigation system.
“The Sunken Gardens have been a community asset and tourist attraction for over 75 years, and we’re thrilled to announce the rejuvenation of the site with the completion of this project,” said Andree Fawcett, President of the Prince Rupert Garden Club. “Our club has maintained the site for the last 13 years, and it’s our goal to continue its legacy as a place of community celebration and education in partnership with local businesses like the Port of Prince Rupert.”
The Garden Club also used the port’s contribution to construct aluminum electrical housing panels, install lighting fixtures throughout the garden and garner wooden signage to draw tourists to the area.
Surrounded by the gardens, members of the public came to enjoy a barbecue hosted by the Port of Prince Rupert. Fawcett described the history of the gardens.
During World War One a hole was excavated for the new court house but the ground was unstable and would not allow a structure as large as the courthouse.
A large hole remained until the 1920s when the city was looking for jobs for relief workers and they decided to build a garden here.
When World War Two consumed much of the region the lower area of the garden was used as a munitions storage area. After the war the province maintained the gardens until the late ‘90s and in 2003 the Garden Club took over and began the Sunken Gardens Restoration Project.
“The community of Prince Rupert is home to many unique attractions that add to the quality of life for residents and create a sense of wonder for visitors,” said Don Krusel, President and CEO of the Port of Prince Rupert. “The Sunken Gardens represent a piece of our rich history, but also a place of beauty that we can all contribute to and take pride in.