Kitsilano Community Gardens Fight to Survive CP Rail Evictions

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Maple Community Garden

Maple Community Garden

Many community gardens in the city, including our own award-winning Maple Community Garden and Cypress Community Garden, are facing imminent crisis as Canadian Pacific has issued a notice that much of the gardens be dismantled by July 31 in order to make way for track maintenance.

On Saturday July 26, from 11am-5pm, a the gardens are throwing a garden party to draw awareness to the issue and celebrate the long life of these community gardens. The event takes place between Maple and Fir along the 6th Avenue railway tracks. This could very likely be a final hurrah for the community of passionate gardeners that have called this spot home for years. A BBQ will be provided for anyone to use, there will be plant seed giveaways, music, veggies, and a mini market. Harvest and Garden Tours will take place at 1pm and 3pm, and there will be a Seed Saving Workshop at 2pm. This event is open to the public of all ages, including pets, and is free. Be sure to stop by to show your support for a lovely Kitsilano landmark.

There is also an online petition that you are invited to sign in support of the community gardens along the Arbutus Corridor. Please find the link on the Cypress Community Garden website. MP Joyce Murray, Provincial MLAs David Eby (Vancouver-Point Grey) and George Heyman (Vancouver-Fairview) have written to CPR CEO in support of the community gardens.

Maple Community Garden, located at 237 Maple St., was established in 1989, and Cypress Community Garden, located on the north side of 6th Avenue between Cypress St. and Burrard St., was established in the mid 1990s. Both have remained steadfast community landmarks since, winning awards and contributing much to our city’s commitment to natural beauty.

Cypress Community Garden, which promotes organic gardening methods, is a popular spot for avid gardeners from all over the city, with an extensive waitlist of hopeful members. But, unfortunately, “Our garden will soon be a memory,” says coordinator Maureen Ryan. Despite the fact that not only does the garden operate on a permit from the City of Vancouver with the understanding that it is on city property, but also that the community gardeners have kept the CPR clear of debris and overgrown grass for decades, the railway is threatening the garden’s very existence.

CP is hoping to return the rail to federal safety standards and potentially resume operations, and so is placing survey stakes indicating the right-of-way, which extends for 10 metres on each side of the track. Any structures and vegetation on this land will have to be removed by July 31.

 

Last modified: July 25, 2014

4 Responses to " Kitsilano Community Gardens Fight to Survive CP Rail Evictions "

  1. JANE says:

    You are squatters and trespassers, and your garden party is about to come to an end.

  2. Pixie says:

    Jane! Why would anyone hate gardens so much? Come join us. A wide variety of people, cross section of the city’s population, great way to meet neighbours and people new to the city, fantastic learning opportunity (potatoes really do come from the ground), and you can even give back to your city. I love to grow flowers as part of my garden because they contribute beauty to the experience of everyone who walks/rides/drives past.

    Yes, it will cost you to participate. Gardeners pay the city for access to their plots. The whole “squatters” thing is fantastical, not real.

    Everyone who eats can benefit from gardening. If you don’t eat, just avoid the topic. No need to be a noxious weed.

  3. Migsy says:

    @JANE your comment is the funnies. such malcontent. such disdain. and ominous! please do evil more often, you’re the best.

  4. Kits5678 says:

    @ Pixie and Migsy

    There is nothing wrong with gardens. They can provided decent landscaping to the city. The old railway has been a mess for a long time. Its about time that the railway is doing something to clean it up. It is there land. How would you like it if someone came onto your land and mess around with it. Vancouver and BC should buy the railway and make it a park or use it for future transit.