Wild Minds Rewilding Project – Day 5. I have always loved visiting Strathcona and Cottonwood Gardens. They are a rare gem in Vancouver. But, I am seeing the garden from a new perspective, being able to work with youth in this magnificent place. The spaces to explore, the learning opportunities, and the simple beauty of these gardens and wild areas make these gardens a particularly unique experience for the youth and that have, I think, got them excited about gardening and ecology. They are really pumped up and having fun.
The Wild Minds Project – Day 4. The youth are blossoming in the Strathcona Community Gardens and Cottonwood Community Garden. There is so much to explore and learn, even play the piano. Our days are a mix of work in the youth garden and rewilding areas and learning. Today, the youth learned about bats and bat habitat and hopefully we will find a good spot to nail up a bat house.
The Britannia Wild Minds Project – Day 2. Located in the inner city of East Vancouver amongst warehouses is Vancouver’s Strathcona Community Gardens, a hidden oasis among amidst the urban concrete. A group of 10 Britannia Secondary Students are helping to rewild a section of the gardens by planting indigenous plants that will eventually grow into an urban forest that was previously overgrown with Himalayan Blackberry, providing new habitat for various animal species. The youth are loving the gardens with so much to expire including orchards, community gardens, pond areas, bee hives, and existing wild areas.
This project is a partnership between the Grandview Woodland Food Connection, Environmental Youth Alliance and the Evergreen Foundation, with funding generously provided by Evergreen Foundation.
On Thursday, July 7th from 5-9, the Britannia Secondary sports field will be transformed into a lovely garden party. This year, our 6th, we are taking the annual fundraiser right to the garden where we do our preschool, elementary, & high school gardening programs. It will feature a gourmet meal of local fare, including veg and non-veg entree, salads, corn on the cob, nugget potatoes and more! PLUS, homemade pie and ice cream for dessert. It is a family friendly event with games and activities for all ages, live local music, a storyteller for the kids, a juice bar with homemade ginger beer (non-alcoholic), lemonade, kambucha and ice tea. Plus, we have over 50 items donated by East Van merchants, services, breweries, restaurants and cafes and more for the Silent Auction. It’s going to be a great evening, with money going to a great cause- teaching East Van kids about the joys of gardening and of community. Special announcement- Commercial Drive Scotiabank will be matching funds, so the money you contribute will be doubled!!!
Tickets are $30 for adults, half price for ages 6-12 and under 6 are free. Tickets can be bought at the Britannia Community Centre front information desk, register on-line, or by phone: 604-718-5800 (1). We are very excited to announce that the Commercial Drive Scotiabank branch is offering MATCHING funds, so your $30 will turn into $60!
Please help us get the word out, even if you are not able to come, by sending the attached poster and menu to people you know. We have a Facebook page, and if you are on FB, could you Like and most importantly, Share our page? Please and thank you. Here is the link:
Hope to see you at the garden party!
The butterfly release program is led by Chris Johnston, a Youth and Family Worker in the Britannia Pacific Storm social development program for students in grades eight and nine, who has been teaching his students all about raising butterflies. “I thought it would be a great learning tool for my students. The entire metamorphosis process takes about 30 days and is an amazing process to watch in the classroom. Students are empowered by the experience and get a feeling of respect and accomplishment when giving back to the environment in this way”, says Johnston.
Flutterbuys, a butterfly company located in Langley BC, provides Painted Lady butterfly larvae to the school, which the students place in an aquarium and learn to take care of from larvae to pupa to butterfly. When the butterflies are strong enough, the students bring the aquarium down to the school garden, where they release the butterflies into the garden.
Students are witnesses to a wondrous spring ritual, enthralled as the young butterflies take their first flight bringing beauty to the school garden. As Chris says, “my hopes for the students are that this experience will spill over to develop an understanding of their personal environment and how fragile this ecosystem is.
The Grandview Woodland Food Connection is proud to have helped organize this year’s Wild Salmon Caravan. We believe strongly that protection of wild salmon is a critical, if not one of the most important food justice issues that we face here in BC. Wild salmon are under severe threat from global warming, mining and industrial food systems such as fish farms and commercial overfishing. Protecting salmon habitat and supporting a more sustainable, indigenous-based fisheries is an important step in the reconciliation of the Aboriginal land and food system. This reconciliation recognizes that colonizer communities have a responsibility to acknowledge unceeded traditional territory in BC and with this, how the industrial food system, including agriculture and fisheries, is destroying Aboriginal access to traditional foods necessary for cultural survival.
The Wild Salmon Caravan came together to celebrate the spirit of wild salmon through the arts and culture in a way that will nurture the creative energy that wild salmon have inspired through the ages, and affirm intertribal relationships that were the foundation of traditional fisheries knowledge systems. The collaboration and creative energy will serve to educate, inform, and transform the darkness surrounding the industrial storm that is endangering wild salmon.
The Grandview Woodland Food Connection was one of many community organizations that helped make this year’s Wild Salmon Caravan a success. Despite unsettled weather and some rain, we had a good showing of people from a diversity of backgrounds, who came out in a wonderful artistic expression of their love and commitment to helping protect wild salmon. GWFC coordinated the Vancouver event logistics and helped with other tasks. We look forward to helping to organize next year’s Wild Salmon Caravan 2017 and committed to helping protect wild salmon in the name of food justice and Aboriginal sovereignty.
Photos below by Murray Bush and others