Friday, October 5, 2012

Save Cottonwood Garden

     Cottonwood Community Garden is a 4 acre green oasis in a concrete desert near the centre of downtown Vancouver.  It was created 21 years ago by a group of guerilla gardeners who painstakingly turned a former landfill into good, arable soil by removing tons of garbage and replacing it with similar quantities of compost created from the waste of nearby produce distribution warehouses.

 The original site of Cottonwood garden.

          There is presently 140 individual garden plots including a number of raised garden boxes for physically  challenged gardeners.  The garden also includes a number of public areas like the native forest, the asian garden, the fruit tree beds (cherry, sour cherry, apple, plum, pear, persimmon, mulberry, fig ...), fruit bushes (blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, gooseberry, grape, thimbleberry, salmonberry, kiwis ...) and a number of flower gardens.  

          It is the home of a number of nesting birds including a prominent bald eagle nest.

A new born resident of Cottonwood Garden.

     It is also home to our honey bees that love living in this green oasis that provides them with abundant flowering plants from early spring to late fall.  Native bees have also chosen to make Cottonwood Garden their home.  This year I made an effort to photograph and identify some of the native insects that live in our garden.

       Our first hive.

The Cottonwood Garden Maternity Ward.

One of the girls enjoying a Cottonwood raspberry flower.

Delicious chives.

     Recently the city of Vancouver announced it's plan to put a freeway right through the centre of Cottonwood garden.  It reminds of a song. 
Big Yellow Taxi
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique and a swinging hot spot

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got til it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

They took all the trees and put 'em in a tree museum
And they charged all the people a dollar and a half just to see 'em

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got til it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

Hey farmer, farmer, put away that DDT now
Give me spots on my apples but leave me the birds and the bees (please!)

Joni Mitchell (1970)

     Please help us save Cottonwood Garden by going to our facebook page here and signing our petition to the city here.  To view a more detailed description of the garden and it's future go to Gardens threatened.  I will end this post with a few parting photos of Cottonwood Garden.  By this time next year they may have paved paradise and put up a parking lot.


Please save my home.


  1. How awful, I have signed. Really hope you can overturn this crazy decision. Wonder if the people who made it have ever spent time walking through the gardens, or if they just sat in an office drawing lines through a map.

  2. Thanks for your support. We desperately need it. Though recently the city sent a representative to the garden to discuss the issue I doubt that any of those "decision makers" have been to the garden. For them is is simply a matter of moving the largest number of cars in the shortest amount of time. Unfortunately, Vancouver has doubled in size in the last 30 years and will probably do the same in the next 30 years. Some believe erroneously that progress is necessary and a essential component of progress is constant growth. I believe that as in nature there needs to be a state of harmonious balance in any healthy ecosystem and that with continuous growth comes disastrous consequences like global warming and the paving of community gardens. Let's hope we can find a healthier, greener alternative.


Recent Posts

Recent Posts Widget