‘We won the vote in Council!’ – for Long Term Security for Community Gardens in Vancouver BC
Motion calling for City staff to look into options for long term security for community gardens
By Rose-Marie Larsson
Strathcona Gardens Blog
November 29, 2012
Councillors voted unanimously for Councillor Adriane Carr’s motion calling for City staff to look into options for long term security for community gardens, especially for older, established gardens like Cottonwood and Strathcona.
We had long line-up (27) of wonderful, eloquent speakers – gardeners of all ages from Cottonwood, Strathcona, Purple Thistle and the Environmental Youth Alliance, former Councillor Ellen Woodsworth (COPE), Celia Brauer from The False Creek Watershed Society and UBC Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Land and Food Systems Art Bomke among them. Peter Driftmier read a letter signed by 16 of Vancouver’s Neighbourhood Food Networks and Neighbourhood Food Network Coordinators.
This is a step forward for all of Vancouver’s community gardens – and for Cottonwood and Strathcona, which were recognized for their particular value to the Green City. More on what this means and what we need to do next to make the most of this opening soon!
Big thanks to all who spoke so brilliantly. And big thanks to Councillor Carr who put forward this motion and to Councillor George Affleck who seconded it.
MOTION ON NOTICE
2. Long Term Security for Community Gardens
MOVER: Councillor Adriane Carr SECONDER: Councillor George Affleck
1. Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan includes increasing the number of Community Gardens and garden plots towards the goal of a resilient and sustainable local food system;
2. Longer-tenured community gardens, such as the 22-year-old Cottonwood Garden on Malkin Avenue, offer more security and sustainability for gardeners and plants alike, enabling the growth of perennials, fruit and nut trees, seed- saving gardens and teaching gardens;
3. Community gardens, especially those lasting over decades, contribute to the health, well-being and community engagement of Vancouver residents;
4. Many of Vancouver’s community gardens are temporary: established on lots awaiting development in exchange for property tax write-offs, and their loss would negatively impact our Greenest City, Healthy City and Livable City goals.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT staff report back on options to increase the long term security of Vancouver’s Community Gardens, especially older gardens such as Cottonwood Garden;
FURTHER THAT staff include in its report the cost of foregone property tax revenue from temporary community gardens on land slated for development.