Finally, work in-progress since 2018 in the public area of Ruckle farm is starting to show -- modestly yet, but more and better is on its way. What’s up?
Six new interpretive signs were unveiled in late September, in the kiosk opposite the barn, a Friends of Ruckle Park Heritage (FRPH) project, with thanks to funding from the Salt Spring Foundation and many historic images from the Archives, who hosted the launch. The sign information makes clear that Ruckle farm was a bustling hub for long decades, with 150 years to celebrate in the summer of 2022.
Two other grant projects are also underway..
A Park Enhancement Fund grant ($900) + FRPH funds ($100) are paying for flower bulbs, flowering perennials, and related supplies, which dedicated volunteer gardeners are planting by the Henry Ruckle house -- the white one past the barn and oldest on the farm, built in the mid-1870. Lotus kept beautiful blooms around the place, until she and family moved in 1967 to Uncle Alfred’s house, the Queen Anne one nearest the park gate.
A Heritage Legacy Fund grant ($9,300), partnered with BC Parks ($6,000) and FRPH ($3,300), is paying for work inside the Henry Ruckle house. Heritage conservators are refinishing floors, walls, and trim, so it can open as an interpretive centre next year.
Friends of Ruckle Park Heritage has recently applied for a very large grant from B.C.’s Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program, Heritage Stream, to restore and rehabilitate several of the old buildings in the public-access area of the farm, including the barn and Henry Ruckle house.
Should any or all of this huge grant be awarded, new volunteer directors on the FRPH Society’s board will be needed, especially one or more with construction or general-contractor backgrounds -- perhaps retired from such work and wanting to give back to the community at one of the sweetest of places on the island, loved by all.
Exciting times and exciting opportunities to contribute! Please contact Brenda Guiled (rhymes with wild), if this is of interest. 250-653-4722 or use the contact form on this website.
Separate from Friends of Ruckle Park Heritage’s work, which keeps to the public area of the farm, in 2022 January, Mike and Marjorie Lane will start their long-term contract to operate the farm; they’ve been licensed by BC Parks since the last Ruckle, Helen, died in 2018 June at age 94.
Photos of the sign kiosk and the Lanes by Christina Marshall
Founder & Chair, Friends of Ruckle Park Heritage