The next free eco-tours of the Garden City Lands park
International Biodiversity Day. (This year the UN's theme is "Water
and Biodiversity.") We are celebrating with a pair of free tours on
Wednesday, May 22 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 26 at 12:00 noon. It is
very important that as many citizens as possible are informed by
firsthand experience with the park before participating in the City of
Richmond's event and online feedback about enhancing the park. At this
time, please click here to read the the eco-tours
Please visit the
Richmond's Garden City Conservation blog
for current in-depth insights.
This website is largely a site that reflects the history of the
Garden City Lands as an issue.
Our traditional goal: To keep the
Garden City lands green
in the Agricultural Land Reserve and to steward their natural
legacy for agricultural,
ecological and open-land park uses for community wellness.
The coalition is a community of people who cooperate toward that goal
and to all Garden City conservation needs (as resources permit) as a public service for
the people of Richmond, as well as the region, the province, and the
We are led by the board of directors of the
Garden City Conservation Society. Last
year's annual gathering of the society was on
Monday, June 18, 2012.
Once again, it was interactive and interesting. The gathering considered
major renewal of our
purposes, including an updated name. Subject to approval by the
Registrar of Companies, the name of the society will become Garden City
Conservation Society. This year's gathering is tentatively scheduled for
Monday, June 17, 2013.
Visit the Future page for
the PARC concept, the coalition approach to listening and conservation.
If you support our goal, you may wish to receive the
Garden City News, a brief newsletter emailed to the Friends of
Garden City about twice a month. To subscribe, simply send this
"Why keep the lands green in the ALR?" PDF answers a key
The Garden City Lands, shown at top, are
with details here. The
main entrance is shown here.
Above, Chak Au shows the IESCO award for
International Eco-Safety Demonstrative City to Michael Wolfe and
Carol Day. Richmond was one of just three cities in the world to be honoured with this award. Chak gave a lot of credit for the award to the
Garden City Lands Coalition Society, in which Michael and Carol had
leadership roles. Richmond School District won a similar award, and Chak
brought both plaques back from the recent World Eco-Safety Assembly in
Phonm Penh, Cambodia. The plaques are large (16" X 24") and solidly
heavy, and someone had asked how he ever got them back. He said "I just
opened my suitcase and threw out all my clothes and. . . ." On a
happy occasion like this one, a little joke is worth a good laugh. For the whole
story, see this blog post.
Election results: Eight of the nine candidates
elected to Richmond council for the 2011-2014 term are Friends of Garden
City who share the coalition goal. Coun. Chak Au is a welcome new
addition to council.
A few examples of our activities:
We have recently had success in getting the
Garden City Lands designated appropriately enough in the Metro Vancouver
Regional Growth Strategy after the Lands started out being called
"General Urban," which means residential. There are
Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy posts
on our blog.
- In 2010, the coalition presented
Strengthen and improve the ALR together to the
Agricultural Land Commission of British Columbia. It is subtitled
Input for ALC Chair Richard Bullock for the 2010 ALR Review from
the Garden City Lands Coalition Society, Richmond, BC. It is
expected that the ALR Review will be a milestone in wise and
effective conservation of BC¡¦s scarce agricultural land. The
coalition has much to offer, and we have reasonable grounds for
optimism that all input is being heeded.
- Besides free
of the Garden City Lands, we have had a free
agri-tour of Cherry Lane Farm, where
visitors could see urban farming, organic farming practices, and
more diversity in action.
The Garden City Lands is active at local events like this one at
King George Park.
- BC's Agricultural Land Commission was asked to
exclude the Garden City Lands, 140 acres of prime farmland in
Richmond City Centre from the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) so
that over half the property could become high density development.
- Good alternatives had been proposed to keep the
Lands as green open space in the ALR. The massive public input,
evident in the
ALC's Garden City Lands section, overwhelmingly opposed the
- The federal Minister of Agriculture indicated in
letter to the Garden City Lands
Coalition that his department will consider using the lands for
a program need if they become available.
- A key agreement expired on Dec. 31, 2008, after
Richmond council refused (by a 6-3 vote) to take drastic means to
On Feb. 12, 2009,
the Garden City Lands panel of B.C.'s Agricultural Land Commission
(ALC) REJECTED the
application to remove the Lands from the ALR.
Here's what we told the commission in a thorough
analysis, and here's the
- Under the basic Garden City Lands
memorandum of agreement (MOU), which has no expiry date, the
City of Richmond renegotiated with Canada Lands Company and the Musqueam Indian Band to determine the future of the Lands. There
could also have been occasion for the federal government to become
- Along with unified strategic action by Richmond
council, community action on this issue remains very important.
Visit the Action page.
The City of
Richmond purchased the Garden City Land on March 31,
2010. The Musqueam Indian Band
sued the City of Richmond, making various claims on the premise that it
sold its interest to the city under duress,
in a writ dated April 9, 2010.
Note re "The facts disagree with
Richmond Coun. Evelina Halsey-Brandt." Evelina Halsey-Brandt
wrote an unfortunate letter about the president of the Garden City
Lands Coalition Society in the Richmond Review. His response with this
title was on this page. It is now on the Richmond's Garden City Lands
Click here to read it there.
We mourn the loss of our dear colleague
Gazetas on April 17, 2012.
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