Burrard View Community Garden

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Share your ideas about a proposed community garden in Burrard View Park.


About this project

In April 2020, the Vancouver Urban Food Forest Foundation (VUFFF) reached out to us (the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation) to request an area of park space in the Hastings-Sunrise area for growing local food.

The proposed garden would include:

  • An Indigenous food forest planted, tended to, and harvested in partnership with Indigenous community members
  • Annual and perennial plants in a medicine wheel pattern
  • Nature-based and recycled-material storage and seating
  • Pathways and programs offering connections to the field house and playground (which is scheduled to be renewed in the near future)
  • Opportunities for community members to share knowledge across generations and cultures.


What we're asking now

The goal of this survey is to understand the East Vancouver community’s diverse values and needs so that we can identify the best location for the project within Burrard View Park. If you live in East Vancouver and use Burrard View Park, please take our survey.

Share your ideas about a proposed community garden in Burrard View Park.


About this project

In April 2020, the Vancouver Urban Food Forest Foundation (VUFFF) reached out to us (the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation) to request an area of park space in the Hastings-Sunrise area for growing local food.

The proposed garden would include:

  • An Indigenous food forest planted, tended to, and harvested in partnership with Indigenous community members
  • Annual and perennial plants in a medicine wheel pattern
  • Nature-based and recycled-material storage and seating
  • Pathways and programs offering connections to the field house and playground (which is scheduled to be renewed in the near future)
  • Opportunities for community members to share knowledge across generations and cultures.


What we're asking now

The goal of this survey is to understand the East Vancouver community’s diverse values and needs so that we can identify the best location for the project within Burrard View Park. If you live in East Vancouver and use Burrard View Park, please take our survey.

  • Update: FAQ's and follow-up from our in-park event

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    On November 20th, staff from the Park Board and also the Vancouver Urban Food Forest Foundation (VUFFF) were on-site at Burrard View Park to answer questions and share information about the proposal. The information we shared at the event is the same information we are sharing via Shape Your City, but offered in a different format (in-person) as a way to meet and connect with more residents. We spoke with around 40-50 people during the pop-up event.

    We’d like to take this opportunity to provide answers to a few frequently asked questions and concerns that we heard from residents during the event.



    1. Why does the survey feel like it directs the reader to a particular option?

    We understand there have been concerns expressed by some residents about the survey design, and we want to acknowledge those concerns.

    The survey does focus on opportunities and site qualities relevant to the success of the garden, however it’s important to note that there are fields that allow survey participants to offer open commentary on their specific perspectives, which will be captured in the reporting.

    The survey was designed to help the Park Board and survey participants understand which of the two site options was most suitable based on community values. This is why the survey makes reference to the implications of each trade-off in terms of how the two spaces could be used, by whom, and what amenities are nearby.

    There are real differences between the sites, each with different implications for the garden. Staff have tried to represent these differences, like the proximity to washrooms and importance of the multi-use area, honestly in the survey and ask respondents how important each consideration is to them.

    For example, a drawback to the NW site is that there are expenses associated with connecting it to a water line. However, several community members shared that they felt the added expense of connecting water to the NW site would be an acceptable trade-off considering the benefits of preserving the SE site. The survey was designed to elicit this sort of feedback.

    We will proceed with the survey period to honour the time and efforts of those who have taken it so far.

    This response was updated on Dec. 2 to add additional clarifying details. No information has been removed.


    2. Why can’t you use the tiered garden beds in front of the hospice?

    These garden beds are part of the leased area of the hospice. The beds have been cared for by Park Board in the past and, at present, the Park Board and hospice are discussing the hospice taking over care of that space. The VUFFF could assist with care of that space, but the beds alone would not meet the needs or intention of the proposed community garden, meaning one of the two other proposed spaces is required.


    3. Can the washrooms in the community room under the hospice be made available for the garden if it is located in the NW area?

    The community room is operated by the Hastings Community Centre Association and is made available through a rental program. The washrooms are available when the room is rented, which might be possible for some garden events or programs. Having the washrooms open for the whole day like those in the field house would require ongoing expenses associated with daily cleaning and monitoring of the space by Park Board staff from the Hastings Community Centre. As the garden is intended to be a long-term installation in the park, and there are already washrooms open every day at the field house, it is not practical to have the washrooms in the community room open except during special events and programs when the room could be reserved for the garden’s use.


    4. How will pests be managed at the garden?

    The exact approach to pest management depends on the site selected and evaluating problems that arise. Some approaches that will be part of regular maintenance from the time the food forest is established are:

    • Making sure all fallen fruit is harvested to avoid leaving attractants on the ground
    • Constructing a secure, rodent-resistant compost bin
    • Planting herbs like mint, lavender and thyme that deter rodents
    • Promoting increased biodiversity with trees, pollinator plants and native shrubs that can attract predators like owls who help keep the population under control


    5. What measures are in place to make sure the garden is kept in good order?

    All societies managing community gardens in parks are required to enter into a license agreement with the Park Board. The license agreement dictates that the Society must, among other requirements related to repair and maintenance, “keep the License Area and those portions of the Lands used by the Society in a sanitary, tidy and safe condition”. If the Society fails to comply with this or any other clause in the agreement, they are required to vacate the area and, at the request of the Park Board, return the land to its prior state.


    6. Why is the northwest site smaller than the southeast site?

    The northwest site is smaller due to its proximity to the dog off-leash area. If a garden is created within 50 metres of an off-leash area, it requires one area or the other to be fenced. We have sized and positioned the NW garden site to avoid the need for a fence.


    7. Why are there two options rather than just one?

    Staff were directed by the Board to identify a suitable location for the garden. The two proposed locations meet the technical requirements of the garden (e.g., space, sunlight), although they differ in access to infrastructure (e.g., water) and amenities (e.g., washrooms and playground). Staff are seeking feedback from the public to inform a report to the Park Board commissioners who will decide which site is most suitable.

    We acknowledge the engagement process in March of 2020 was flawed and, as such, we chose to offer the SE option in addition to the NW option for public feedback through the current, more robust engagement process. We also now are able to offer some idea of where a new playground could be installed, offering additional perspective on what the south section of the park could look like with a garden, passive space and playground.


    8. How does the recently passed Local Food System Action Plan (LFSAP) affect the engagement process and implementation of the garden?

    The LFSAP will not change the engagement process that’s in progress. The garden proposal aligns very well with the core principles of the action plan and implementation of the garden will be guided by the newly passed action plan. For example, established in VanPlay and reiterated in the LFSAP, all new community gardens on Park Board managed land will have at least 50% of total area dedicated to collective food growing; VUFFF’s garden is proposed to be 100% collective.

    The VUFFF proposal aligns with the goals of the LFSAP by:

    • Centering Indigenous practice, teaching and perspective in food-growing and community-building and addressing systemic issues of Indigenous food sovereignty.
      • The proposed garden and food forest includes native food-producing plants and programs centred around cross-cultural and Indigenous learning opportunities.
    • Providing access to food-growing opportunities to equity-denied groups
      • "Map 8: Priority Areas" on page 56 of the LFSAP shows that within 2 blocks of Burrard View park is an area identified as high priority for increasing food and culture gardens, in particular cultural learning gardens, where it is likely that more people would have access and benefit to public growing opportunities than in a plot-based garden.
      • Equity-denied groups are those facing barriers to equal access due to attitudinal, historic, social and environmental barriers based on characteristics not limited to sex, age, ethnicity, disability, economic status, gender, gender expression, nationality, race, sexual orientation.
    • Increasing biodiversity


    9. Why does installing a water connection in the garden in the NW site cost more than at the SE site?

    The northwest site is in proximity to a water line outside of the park. Work would need to be done in order to make this water line useable for the garden, including bringing a connection into the park, and digging and laying pipe to connect to a hose bib in the garden. There are fees associated with activating the connection since it is not currently connected to the park.

    The southeast site has an existing water connection within the park that would require digging and laying pipe to connect to a hose bib in the garden, but no extra connection outside the park is required.

    Staff are exploring all possible water connections for both sites to be sure that the most feasible option would supply water to a new garden.

    Edited Dec. 2, 2021 to add:

    We have explored the possibility of using the water source on-site at the hospice and it is not a practical means of supplying water to the garden. Because the water at the hospice is within their leased area, the use of their water line would create issues with their leasing agreement, administrative burdens in multiple departments and insurance risk. To supply water to the North-West site, the most viable option would be to create a new water connection to the water main on Penticton Street, as described above.


    10. If the garden were to be approved for the SE site, would it take up any of the flat, multi-use area?

    The proposed South-East site is largely situated to the north of the fieldhouse, on a slightly sloped area between the fieldhouse and the footpath. The proposed boundary does include a small wrap-around section on a portion of the west wall of the field-house, but otherwise, the majority of the flat area between the fieldhouse and the playground would be preserved.

    The maps on the Shape Your City webpage are the most accurate and up-to-date depictions of the proposed boundary for each site. Information retrieved from other sources may be out-of-date or inaccurate.



    We hope that this helps to clarify some of the common questions we heard. If you have more questions, you can use the "Ask A Question" tool on Shape Your City and we will provide a response as soon as we can.


    - Park Board Environment Team

  • Pop-up info session at Burrard View Park - Nov 20th

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    Join us in Burrard View Park on Saturday, November 20th from 10:30am until 1:30pm. Park Board staff will be present to answer questions and share information about the project.

  • Location options

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    What are the locations being considered?

    We analyzed several parks in Hastings-Sunrise and found that Burrard View Park was the best fit for this project. Within the park, there are two possible locations for the garden: the North-West corner (labeled NW in this map) and the South-East corner (labeled SE in this map).

    How did we arrive at these two options?

    There are practical considerations that constrain where we can place this project. For example, some areas are too sloped for food gardening, less accessible for people with disabilities, or lack water access. Some designated uses (such as the playground, hospice grounds, or the dog-off-leash area) cannot be displaced for this project.

    A first analysis determined that the South-East corner of the park would be a suitable place for this project. However, during Round 1 of public engagement, several members of the public asked us to consider a second option. The North-West corner of the park is the only other location in the park that may meet the practical constraints described above.

    For more information on each option, please take our survey.

    What's the best way to weigh-in on these options?

    By completing our survey, you can help us to determine a location that meets practical constraints, and is best aligned with community needs. If you live in the area and are a user of Burrard View Park, please take our survey to share your views.

  • More info on this engagement

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    What we've heard so far

    In 2020, we conducted Round 1 of public engagement in the Burrard View Area. This included neighbourhood mail-outs, a public website with information about the park, a sign posted in the park, and opportunities to speak at a Park Board meeting. The applicant, VUFFF, has also conducted their own grass-roots community engagement.

    In Round 1, we heard a lot of support for the proposal that highlighted opportunities for community-building, Indigenous garden programming, and increased biodiversity in the park. There were also several people who were concerned that the proposed location (the South-East corner) would displace current uses (e.g. play, picnics, socializing, sports). We were asked by Park Board commissioners to explore other suitable locations within the park.

    Accordingly, for this Round 2 of engagement, we are asking about peoples' values and preferences for two possible locations within Burrard View Park.

    How your input will help

    Each of the possible sites provides benefits and drawbacks. Your response will help us choose the site within the park that is best aligned with community interests.

    We recognize that East Vancouver is diverse and that park users will have different priorities. The final solution may not be a perfect fit for every person, but we are doing our best to find an equitable solution that maximizes community benefits.

  • Inspiration Board

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    These are photos taken at similar projects around the city that use practices and principles like those proposed by VUFFF. Have a look through the gallery below to spark your imagination about what the Burrard View Food Forest could look and feel like.


    Norquay Food Forest

    These images are taken at Norquay Community Food Forest. The Community Food Forest was conceived as a learning space by local residents and neighbourhood associations that would demonstrate regenerative, organic and innovative growing methods. It is a native plant food forest that integrates permaculture design, and the traditional ecological knowledge of Indigenous communities.

    The proposed garden/food forest at Burrard View Park would use many of the same principles, ethics and methods as the Norquay Food Forest. Like Norquay, the Burrard View Food Forest would be collaboratively stewarded by Indigenous and non-Indigenous garden members, and use permaculture methods with a focus on culturally important plants and foods.


    Description: A painting of a local wetland ecosystem with native food plants growing around the frame.

    Description: Interpretive signage around a salal plant. Salal is one of the most commonly used food plants by Coast Salish peoples. Its berries can be eaten fresh, or boiled, mashed, dried or baked into cakes.

    Description: A section of the garden that is in full-bloom with pollinator friendly flowers.

    Description: A sheltered pathway in the garden. Vines and a tree branch form a canopy over the path that is held up with bamboo stakes. A mix of native and non-native plants surround the path.

    Description: A work table full of twine, baskets and other crafting materials sits underneath a turquoise trellis in a shady part of the garden. Light filters through green leaves on the trees above two people who stand talking beside a red bench.

    Description: A Little Free Library and a Seed Library in the garden holds books and seed packets that passers-by can take or leave as they please. Beside it sits a shelf with a dish of plums and a sign that says "Free plums and free plants". A plastic tray that used to carry plants has been emptied.



    Descriptive Signage at Norquay Food Forest



    Description: An interpretive sign with a map of the food forest. It includes a description of the garden, an explanation of what a food forest is, and principles of Indigenous plant use.



    Description: An interpretive sign. It describes what permaculture is, shares insights from Indigenous practices, and describes the ethics of permaculture including the Food Forest's approach to decolonization.



    Brewer's Park Indigenous Teaching Garden

    Brewer's Park was recently redeveloped and the updated design includes an Indigenous Teaching Garden led and stewarded by Leona Brown, a Gitxsan woman and a partner of the Vancouver Urban Food Forest Foundation (VUFFF). Leona is a strong advocate for the re-introduction of indigenous medicinal plants into city parks, school gardens and public places. She will be a leader in the design and stewardship of indigenous foods and medicines in the proposed Burrard View Food Forest.


    Description: The image depicts a newly-planted Indigenous Teaching Garden populated with young native plants. This photo is taken in its first season at Brewer's Park.




    Riley Park Community Garden

    The Riley Park Community Garden has taken a similar approach to garden stewardship and ecology to the one VUFFF has proposed for the Burrard View Food Forest. The Riley Park Garden is an inclusive gathering point that strives to improve food security, ecological sustainability and community development. It is a collective public space where people can engage in co-creation, feel a sense of belonging and ownership, and increase networks.

    The Riley Park Community Garden is a focal point for community events and intercultural knowledge sharing. It uses common plots rather than individual plots, so all community members have a chance to participate and there are no long wait lists to get an allotment. Riley Park uses a mix of annual and permaculture practices, with some sections of the garden dedicated to supporting urban ecology.



    Description: A map of the Riley Park Community Garden. At the centre is a gathering place under a large coniferous tree. The garden features an edible food forest, accessible and shared garden beds, a woodland border, multiple pollinator gardens, an orchard and meadow, and a herb garden.


    Description: A photo of a table set with foods including flatbread and some cakes shaped like honeycomb. This photo was taken at a pollinator-themed tea party.

    Description: A "butterflyway" pollinator garden, rich with purple and pink blooms.




    Medicine Wheel at John Hendry Park / Trout Lake

    The Vancouver Urban Food Forest Foundation (VUFFF) has proposed including a medicine wheel garden populated with plants that serve as traditional foods and medicines for Indigenous peoples. One example of a similar garden can be found at John Hendry Park (Trout Lake).

    The Cedar Cottage Food Network describes a medicine wheel as "an indigenous teaching that shows the inter-connectivity of different parts of life in relation with the nature and the spiritual world. The design consists of four different parts that represent directions, elements, seasons, or nations among many others. Traditionally, the medicine wheel is used for ceremonious, religious, and healing purposes, or to illustrate cultural concepts."


    Description: Indigenous people are gathered in a semi-circle at Trout Lake, drumming together.


    Description: People gather around a circular garden plot. It is segmented into four equal quadrants that represent an Indigenous medicine wheel. Some cut-out fish signs are posted at each quadrant, and people hold a banner that says "Wild Salmon Caravan", a celebration of wild salmon and Indigenous food sovereignty.

Page last updated: 02 December 2021, 18:52