Save Cottonwood Community Garden!
A consequence of the city’s plan to remove the Dunsmuir and Georgia Viaducts is a plan to divert traffic from Prior Street to a widened Malkin Avenue – the “Malkin Connector” – which will be extended west to Main Street and east to Clark Drive via an overpass across the railroad tracks.
Malkin Avenue is the right-of-way for the downtown freeway that was never built. This right-of-way is 12 lanes wide and parts of Cottonwood Garden, Strathcona Garden and Strathcona Park have all been developed on this unused right-of-way. Cottonwood Community Garden will be most affected if the plan to widen Malkin goes ahead.
There’s still time to do stop Cottonwood Community Garden from being bulldozed and paved over. The City planners at Mayor Robertson’s request are preparing a “Malkin Connector” report. It’s not yet clear when it will go to Council for a vote. Vancouverites will of course not be able to vote, but we can make our voices heard to our elected representatives. If enough of us speak up, Council will not be able to ignore us.
If you feel like we do that Cottonwood Community Garden must not be sacrificed to facilitate traffic to the downtown core, please e-mail Mayor and Council and let them know! You may want to remind the Councillors of their commitment to make Vancouver the Greenest City in the world. If you want to write to individual Councillors you’ll find their e-mail addresses here. It’s a good idea to send a copy of your letter to the Parks Board Commissioners as well. And, if you want to send us a copy of your letter, that would cheer us up immensely.
We urgently need word out about what Cottonwood is up against and to this end have created a Facebook page, Save Cottonwood Community Garden Please “like” this page to stay updated and get new tips on how to help and please share it widely! We feel sure that the more people know about what a unique ecological green space Cottonwood Garden is, the more they will want to join us in protecting it. If you haven’t signed our online petition, please do so, and if you would like to print a hard copy to hand out at events in order to gather more signatures, you can download it here.
We are doing free tours of Cottonwood Garden every Saturday morning at 10 a.m. to show the great variety of trees, shrubs and plants planted there and the rich bird, bee and insect life. Also to share its over twenty year story, how it began and how it was created by many hundreds of dedicated volunteer gardeners over the years. We meet at the east entrance on Raymur Avenue, across from the dog pound. Please join us – and do bring friends and family along. If you belong to a group and would like to arrange a group tour at another time, please call us at 604-253-7036.
If you’re not able to take the tour, but would like to learn about Cottonwood’s story, you can read about it online in Oliver Kellhammer’s history of how the garden was started - complete with many wonderful photos from back in the day.
We welcome all ideas and offer of help to make our campaign to Save Cottonwood successful!