On Wednesday July 16th, the Strathcona BIA and Hastings Crossing BIA became home to 14 young trees in raised planters along Hastings Street. Businesses will care for the trees for 2-5 years and before they grow too large for the planters, the trees will be moved to permanent locations and replaced with more young trees so the nursery cycle can continue. Wednesday marked an important milestone of the BIAs working collaboratively with the City of Vancouver and our business members to install an innovative and community-enhancing urban greening initiative. A DTES Capital Grant and a grant from TD Green Streets supported this project.
Project Manager J?ohn B. Mackin put together a stellar team of contractors to get the job done. Landscape Centre poured and installed the concrete planters. Lawn Enforcement filled the planters with Eco-Soil and Strathcona BIA compost, plus Pin Oaks, Red Maples, and Persian Ironwood trees. Valley Traffic Control provided expert safety measures during the installation. Meg, Johanna, and Marina from the SBIA supervised the installation from start to finish.
Then it was time to celebrate! The official opening of the Hastings Urban Tree Nursery was held Friday July 18th on Princess Ave at East Hastings. Many fabulous volunteers came out to help, and Union Gospel Mission provided assistance with materials and site support. City of Vancouver Councillors Heather Deal and Adriane Carr attended, as did MLA Jenny Kwan, SBIA?s Toby Barazzuol, HXBIA?s Heather O?Hara, and representatives from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (Kelly Lam) and Tree Canada (Richard Walker). After some very complimentary speeches, we enjoyed performances by the Git Hayetsk dancers, Sawagi Taiko, and local band Sons of Granville. Serious Sausage provided delicious meals for all in attendance. A great time was had by all, and we kicked off a great project that will continue to beautify our streets and engage the community for years to come.
We want to give a shout out the awesome volunteers who have been contributing their time and efforts at the Resource Park. Ayman and Ahmed are high school students who volunteer with us through a youth volunteering initiative run by Ray Cam Community Centre. They started back in September, and have been coming on Saturday mornings to help out at the Resource Park. They consistently bring a great attitude and have done a lot of hard work at the park. Ahmed has recently gotten a job and will no longer be able to volunteer with us, so we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.
Mayan, an Emily Carr University graduate, heard about the Resource Park and was keen to learn more about our small-scale neighbourhood composting model. She started volunteering with us back in October, and has been regularly volunteering one morning a week since then. Mayan is also a slow food and gardening enthusiast, so we are excited to have her expertise and help with the urban garden as we head into the spring and summer time.
Our volunteers help out with all types of tasks and projects around the park. A volunteer session might involve anything from emptying and storing compost from the Joras, to power washing the site and equipment, or cleaning and organizing the sheds. Recently their work has also included planning out and working on the garden beds, including amending them with compost and planting vegetable and flower seeds. On rainy days, Mayan also helps by entering collections data from our waste collections program.
We?ve had a chance to do some fun DIY projects as well, including building worm bins from five gallon buckets, making a grow-light box to start seedlings in, as well as planting potatoes using materials from the Resource Exchange.
Ayman helped build the grow-light box, which is a 53 litre container lined with aluminum foil. A clamp light with a 60 W CFL bulb is set up to a wall timer and shines on the seedlings for 14 hours a day. We?ve started leeks, tomatoes, peppers, and various herbs all from the basement office of the SBIA using the grow-light box.
Mayan did a project where she planted potatoes in burlap sacks from the Resource Exchange. She used SBIA compost and some regular soil as a growing medium. As the potato plants come up you gradually roll the bags higher and add more compost to the bags. We?ve placed the burlap sacks on a wooden pallet for easy drainage. There are more burlap sacks, compost, and pallets available at the Resource Park for anyone wanting to try this project themselves.
There will be some upcoming volunteer opportunities at the SBIA with the Marketing committee, for anyone interested contact : firstname.lastname@example.org or call the SBIA office at 604.258.2727Read More
The Pink Pearl Re-opens!
The Pink Pearl is back in business! A fire in September 2009 caused extensive damage to the award-winning Chinese seafood restaurant, which opened its doors again in April.
This Vancouver mainstay is located at 1132 East Hastings Street.