Kitsilano Community Centre Garden

The Kitsilano Community Centre Collab Garden sprouted in June 2014 and is a beautiful green space to educate and inspire community through collaborative learning, growing and sharing.

The garden cascades along the south wall of the rink, between the sidewalk along Larch and the parking lot. It includes a shady zone near Larch Street where informal seating invites visitors to linger, seven raised beds on three different levels that produce flowers, herbs, and vegetables, and three rocky slopes and the area along the rink wall that grow herbs, pollinator-friendly flowers and fruit-bearing shrubs and trees, all separated by wood chip paths.

The garden is as much about growing community and individuals as it is about growing plants. Anyone is welcome use the informal seating area to chat with others, greet the volunteers who maintain the garden, or appreciate the miracles of nature in quiet contemplation. You may want to bring a camera, sketch book or note pad in case the garden inspires your creativity.

If you would like to participate in a more hands-on way, here are the answers to questions people who considering it often ask.

 

What are the potential rewards of joining the Kitsilano CC Collaborative Garden group?
  • Become part of an intergenerational community of people who love to garden
  • Build relationships as you work together to make good things happen
  • Know that you are making a public open space more beautiful, inspiring, and educational
  • Enjoy social contact with other Centre users, staff, and neighbours
  • Get fresh air, gentle exercise and chances to get your hands in the earth
  • Learn about gardening in an ecologically-friendly, sustainable way
  • Know that others will tend the garden when you need to be away
  • Take home tastes of fresh, organic produce as it ripens over the season
 
When are the meetings and work bees?
Members meet every Saturday and should additional days be necessary (i.e. summer work parties) the group can discuss dates and times that work for the majority.
What do the gardeners do?
The gardeners plan the activities for each year, what special projects to take on, the goals for each area (for example, backdrop for conversation, attract pollinators, provide visual interest, grow food), what to plant in each area and how to divide up the tasks.
The tasks in the areas that can be planted include: prepare the soil, plant seeds or seedlings, thin the plants, water (daily when the weather is the hottest and driest), weed, fertilize, trim, deal with pests and plant diseases in environmentally-friendly ways, harvest the produce, and remove spent plant material.
The gardeners also weed, replenish chips and clear debris as needed in the seating area and paths.
What does it cost to become a gardener with Kitsilano CC Collaborative Garden?
The Kitsilano Community Centre Association and Village Vancouver work together to support the garden. The gardeners contribute time and energy to maintain the garden and the healthy functioning of the group and to build relationships with the broader community.
Is training provided?

Informally, yes. Gardeners learn by observing, comparing notes, asking questions, and trading interesting articles found on-line or at the library. New members gradually feel confident and start to mentor others. The Centre occasionally offers workshops on topics that interest the gardeners and broader community.

Is everyone welcome to join?

The gardeners range in income, age, place of origin, and family type. Gardening experience varies. None of the current gardeners has formal training in horticulture. For many, this is the first time they have taken responsibility for a garden or tended one with so much diversity of plant life (annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees).

What is the history of the group?
The garden was built in 2014 with much vision and volunteer effort by the original founders to create “A Beautiful Green Space to Educate and Inspire Community through Collaborative Learning, Growing and Sharing.” The membership evolves. A few new people have joined each year and the original members have moved on to other interests. How the group works to “educate and inspire community” also evolves as each new participant brings different ideas, skills, and interests. In 2022, Kitsilano Community Centre Association established a partnership with Village Vancouver to support the garden and its members.
How do I get more information?
Ask that a knowledgeable person get in touch with you by e-mailing kitsilanocc@vancouver.ca with “Collaborative Garden” in the subject line or leave at note with your name and telephone number with the front desk at the Centre.
How do I become a member of the gardening program?
Check our seasonal recreation guide or online for the Kitsilano Community Garden program and register yourself in it.

Is there a waiting list?
If the seasonal program is full, add yourself on the waitlist and if someone drops out, we will contact you.

Let us know if you want to be involved!

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