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Urban farm finds new home in southeast Calgary

The Alberta government gave Canada’s largest community farm until the end of January to leave the property. Michael King/Global News

An urban farm that’s been fighting to keep its home in northwest Calgary has struck a deal with the province that will see it moved to a new location.

Last summer Grow Calgary was ordered to vacate the property near Winsport due to construction of the southwest ring road.

Their lease was set to expire Jan. 31 when the province came up with a new location in the southeast.

READ MORE: Deadline looms for Grow Calgary as province moves ahead with ring road construction

Spokesman Paul Hughes tells Danielle Smith on 770 CHQR the new space is about 20 acres, double what they have now.

“We’re between 50 and 61 Avenue S.E., so people can find us,” Hughes said. “We’re on the transportation utility corridor.

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“The land is more land, so that’s exciting. It’s an opportunity to take some of the lessons we’ve learned at Grow Calgary and apply them to a new space.”

LISTEN: Paul Hughes of Grow Calgary joins Danielle Smith to discuss moving locations in Calgary and space available in the city

The province will be footing the bill for the move but Hughes suggests its taxpayer money well spent given what Grow Calgary gives back. The organization donates all the food it grows to various social agencies including the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter, The Drop-In Centre, and Inn From the Cold.

READ MORE: Grow Calgary asked to move for ring road construction

In the meantime spokesman Paul Hughes continues to push for organizations like his to be able to set up on the transportation utility corridors — the land that runs adjacent to the ring road.

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“Our utility corridor in Calgary is insane. The size of it, the width of it. No one in the world has a utility corridor that is that underutilized.

“It’s like a hockey player saying to a figure skater – what don’t you understand, it’s for hockey – well that space can be used for two different things.”

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