Welcome to the Garden
The Riley Park Community Garden Project is a story of opportunities. An opportunity to address the needs of the community and an opportunity to both strengthen our connections and build new connections to our neighbourhood. For our garden project, we aim to address the issue of food security and community involvement.
The garden will aim to bring our community members closer through education and community events. Beyond its immediate function as an inclusive gathering point, we want the community garden to reflect our core visions to improve food security, ecological sustainability and community development.
Our garden is envisioned to create community space and social cohesion through participation, education, and events. We promote food security by supporting neighbourhood organizations and charities with food grown by our volunteers. The garden project responds to a community need for a collective public space where people can engage in co-creation, feel a sense of belonging and ownership, and increase networks. Long term sustainability depends on the development of social capital and the intention to grow produce that may be given back to the community. The garden will allow our vision to be implemented by:
- creating a hub for discussion, ensuring that the garden green space is community-based, both in theory and practice;
- using public spaces for skills development;
- creating discussion space where community members leverage collective expertise and local resources; and
- supporting food literacy education.
Through the garden, it is the volunteer's hope to address some of our community’s challenges while bringing each and everyone of us closer together.
The community told us they want a garden based on commons design principles guided by the eight design principles for sustainable management of Common Pool Resources, developed by Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom.
The demolishment of the Riley Park Community Centre in 2012 saw a need for an alternative community gathering point. As such, the approval of Vancouver Parks Board to proceed with the development of a community garden was well received from the local community. We gathered a group of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers to work on the creation of the community garden, which is now known as the “Riley Park Community Garden.”
The community garden encompasses an area of 1065m2, spanning the width of Riley Park along East 30th Street, extending approximately 30m along Ontario Street and is bounded on the South. The dimensions of the garden are roughly 50m from East to West and 30m from North to South.
The design team consisted of community members with diverse experience such as horticulture, landscape architecture, art, and soil science. Ideas and suggestions were open to a larger group of interested community members.
The key features of the garden are the different modules that will honour our legacy, history and traditions. The garden will promote local food production and food security, and embed educational and ecological sustainability into its' future development.
Within the Riley Park Community Garden, the Shed is a place to meet, learn, teach, store and create. It represents the Greenest City Action Plan to demonstrate re-purposed materials, rainwater harvesting and collection, renewable energy, and to store garden tools.