The Garden City Lands, Richmond, British Columbia, prime farmland in the heart of a city. Michael Wolfe photo.

The Garden City Lands are prime farmland and a natural central park, the heart of Richmond, BC.

Home Answers Future Action About Us

Garden City Conservation Society, Richmond, B.C., Canada

Bulletin: The 2014 Richmond Election for council (mayor and councillors) is crucial for stewardship of the Garden City Lands. The Garden City Conservation blog includes a set of 2014 Richmond Election articles that will help voters to distinguish the candidates like Michael Wolfe, Harold Steves and Carol Day who have fought for the lands and other conservation issues from othersand to distinguish supportive others from pretenders.

Permaculture tour of the Garden City Lands, Richmond, B.C., on June 12, 2011, led by Michael Wolfe and Bruno Verner.
The photo shows a Garden City Lands eco-tour. To read about the next eco-tour on Saturday, October 25, 2014, click here. The Garden City Lands are mapped with details here.

Welcome to our home! We are Garden City Conservation, and we were born here in Richmond, BC, Canada, as the Garden City Lands Coalition.

This website is largely a site that reflects the history of the Garden City Lands as an issue.  Please visit the Richmond's Garden City Conservation blog for current insights.

Recently, Garden City Conservation sponsored an online Thank You card for Agricultural Land Commission chair Richard Bullock and his team. He has done a great job for the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) in the face of political interference. If you wish, you can still click on Thank You, Richard Bullock and add your name.

You may have heard us encouraging people to ¡§help steward our PARC in the ALR for community wellness.¡¨ That¡¦s discussed here on the Future page and on the Garden City Conservation blog in ¡§Listening to the Lands = PARC.¡¨

At the moment, we are renewing our focus on 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.

We a community of people who cooperate toward that goal and to all Garden City conservation goal (as resources permit) as a public service for the people of Richmond, as well as the region, the province, and the world.

The Garden City Lands is 136 acres of greenspace in the city centre that was almost torn up for high-density development but is now Richmond-owned parkland.

Since we are an incorporated society, our full name is Garden City Conservation Society. You can learn more about us on our About Us page.

_________________

This website is largely a site that reflects the history of the Garden City Lands as an issue.  Please visit the Richmond's Garden City Conservation blog for current in-depth insights.

_________________

We are led by the board of directors of the Garden City Conservation Society. The society is simple to join if you are committed to the purposes. The gathering included an optional tour of a seemingly simple but world-leading agri-research project on the Terra Nova Sharing Farm. The Super-Food Agri-Tour, led by our own Krishna Sharma, PhD, was a down-to-earth way to experience the future and later taste it, thanks to the seed kit participants took away. Later, Kent Mullinix, PhD, of Kwantlen Polytechnic University presented the current version of his leading-edge vision  of a farm on the Garden City Lands for research, education and community outreach.

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 subscribe email.

The "Why keep the lands green in the ALR?" PDF answers a key question.

Michael Wolfe, Carol Day, and Chak Au with an award plaque from IESCO.

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.

A few examples of our activities:

  • We have 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 eco-tours of the Garden City Lands, we have free agri-tours such as the tour of Cherry Lane Farm, where visitors could see urban farming, organic farming practices, and more diversity in action.

Garden City Lands Coalition at King George Park - display created by Carol Day. Daniel Leung photo.

The Garden City Lands is active at local events like this one at King George Park.

Our Garden City Lands - brief background

  • 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 application.
  • The federal Minister of Agriculture indicated in a 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 extend it.
  • 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 commission's decision.
  • 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 involved.
  • Along with unified strategic action by Richmond council, community action on this issue remains very important. Visit the Action page.
  •  Many defenders of the Garden City Lands wrote to Canada Lands Company, and the Garden City Lands Coalition couriered a large (about two hundred pages), organized (in a binder with seventeen tabbed dividers), and highly informed presentation. It is also available here on this website. It is called Save Garden City: An urgent request to Canada Lands Company. The value of that work may have been lost because of the city step listed next.

  • 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 blog. Click here to read it there.

    We continue to mourn the loss of our dear colleague Mary Gazetas on April 17, 2012. We gather that a new barn at the Sharing Farm at Terra Nova Rural Park will be named after Mary, and that's fitting.

    __________

Reminder: Visit the Richmond's Garden City Conservation blog for other current in-depth insights.

Download Adobe Acrobat To read a PDF file, you may need to download Adobe Acrobat. To do so, click on the icon at left.

 

Home Answers  Future  |  Action  |  About Us  |  Blog
Copyright © 2014 Garden City Conservation Society, Richmond, B.C., Canada | Website designed by Zboya Design