Home > AHA Media, April Smith, Garden, Going Green, Strathcona, Vancouver > Please vote for Strathcona Community Micro-Gardens – Creating a Green Zone from the Aviva Community Fund

Please vote for Strathcona Community Micro-Gardens – Creating a Green Zone from the Aviva Community Fund

Strathcona Community Micro-Gardens

We Need Your Support

We want to win a $90000 grant to turn Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside into a Garden City!

We need you to vote for us. 10 Times (once a day for 10 days). Between Dec 2 and 15. And we’ll give you prizes.

Sign up for daily voting reminders athttp://www.strathconagreenzone.com/microgardens. You must be signed up to win prizes. If you’ve already signed up – You are awesome.

Thank you!

The Strathcona BIA has applied for a $90,000 grant from the Aviva Community Fund to help us build 20-30 microgardens in Strathcona, part of Vancouver’s inner city. The grant winners are determined through an online voting contest. We’ve already made it through the first round, so now we need you to vote for our idea 10 times (once per day) between December 2 and December 15 as we compete in the semi-final round against 29 other projects across Canada.

Please vote below:



The Strathcona Neighbourhood The Strathcona neighbourhood is Vancouver’s oldest residential community and also has one of Canada’s lowest socioeconomic levels. 2006 statistics state the average household income is $27,139 compared to $63,889 for Vancouver overall.

Strathcona residents also have lower education levels than the average for all of Vancouver. 32% of residents have an education level less than Grade 9 as compared to 9% in Vancouver and only 40% of people 20 years of age or older have some form of post secondary education compared to 69% in Vancouver overall.

While the neighbourhood has beautiful heritage buildings and a rich artistic community, it is also characterized by homelessness, open drug use and dealing, prostitution, and graffiti.

Our Idea We propose to create 20 to 30 community micro-gardens throughout Strathcona. The gardens would be installed on private properties adjacent to public spaces in highly visible, underutilized areas.

How it would work Depending on the nature and size of each location, the gardeners and the property owners would decide whether the plot should be a community garden, single-owner garden, or a living wall. Vegetation would consist of native perennials and edible plants.

The gardens would be installed by qualified landscapers of Mission Possible Enterprises, a local non-profit which provides employment opportunities for individuals with job readiness barriers and assists in breaking the cycles of poverty, homelessness, and addiction. Local youth would also be employed as partners with the landscapers to learn valuable food production and community development skills.

Benefits of this project

  • Edible plants would provide new opportunities for local food production. Using native plants would reduce the resources required for their maintenance thus minimizing the ecological footprint of each garden.
  • The BIA has received many comments from residents and businesses regarding the need for more green spaces – they want the Strathcona Green Zone to literally become greener. By creating micro gardens, more green space would be accessible throughout the neighbourhood.
  • This project would also reduce spaces available for criminal activity through the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). A public place that lacks significant ownership interest is often perceived by some as places where criminal activity is supported. By converting underutilized spaces into gardens, the BIA would help reduce areas that encourage crime.
  • The most profound benefit of this project would be the generation of green jobs for individuals with job readiness barriers and inner city youth. The youth will gain tangible job experience and skills.
  • There will also be opportunities for intergenerational interactions with Mission Possible’s employees and youth in a safe environment. Many of the landscapers will be able to teach the youth some of their consequences of their decisions in their lives in the hopes that the youth would not follow the same path.

An Inclusive Approach The Strathcona Community Micro-Gardens would provide an inclusive approach to addressing many of the problems affecting this community. We are counting on your support!

For more information on the Strathcona Green Zone, visit us at http://www.strathconagreenzone.com Twitter: SBIA_GreenZone

About the Strathcona Business Improvement Association The Strathcona BIA (SBIA) is a member driven non-profit business organization in Strathcona, a sub-community of east Vancouver. It represents over 850 commercial property owners, business tenants, and 7,000+ employees. The area is a broad mix of industrial, commercial, retail, and residential zoning – many who have been in the area for over 40 years.

The SBIA conducts a variety of programs to facilitate the revitalization of Strathcona including street beautification through banners, flower baskets and murals; street micro cleaning; and graffiti removal. One of its core initiatives is the Strathcona Green Zone, an initiative to promote green practices among its membership and eventually make the area a sustainable district. Programs include waste audits and a resource exchange whereby businesses find other businesses to repurpose unneeded materials to divert them from the landfill.

Besides business development, the SBIA is involved with community events, sponsoring the Powell Street Festival, the largest Japanese Canadian festival in Canada; the Eastside Culture Crawl, a three day event drawing over 10,000 people to artists’ studios in east Vancouver; and children’s programming at the Strathcona Community Centre.


  1. sophie agbonkhese
    December 4, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Thanks April

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