Strathcona & Cottonwood Community Garden Open House
Andrea Bellamy |

Today (July 9th) from 10:00am – 2:00pm, Strathcona & Cottonwood Community Gardens will celebrate the granting of respective 20 and 10 year licenses at their Plant Sale and Open House, a popular annual fundraiser for the volunteer-run gardens.

Don’t miss this fabulous event!

The Open House and Plant Sale provides a wonderful opportunity to tour the inspiring gardens, get tips from master gardeners, learn from unique workshops, and find great, inexpensive plants for your own garden.

When: Sunday, July 9th, 10am – 2pm. Rain or shine!

What: Van Dusen Master Gardeners, Plant Sale, Live Music, Free Workshops for Kids and Adults, Garden Tours, Native Plant Display, Bee Keeping Demonstration, Honey Sale, Sustainable Eco House.

Where: The two gardens are at the back & side of Strathcona Park, near Prior and Hawks, just east of Main Street.


In September 2005, after over a year of negotiations, the Vancouver Parks Board granted a 20 year license to Strathcona gardens, and a 10 year license to Cottonwood gardens. These longer-term licenses (other community gardens have 5 year licenses) acknowledge the unique ecological, cultural, and recreational value of the gardens, and signal strong support for community-based urban agriculture in Vancouver.

Founded in 1985 and 1991, and built entirely by volunteers on recovered dump sites, the gardens comprise almost seven acres of rich and varied publicly-accessible space in the midst of bustling Vancouver. Featured in the World Urban Forum’s ‘GreenGuide’, and frequently visited by local and international gardening and school groups, the gardens are significant examples of organic community landscape design and ecological restoration. The City of Vancouver also recently granted Strathcona a Heritage award for its large collection of heirloom apple trees.

“After 20 years of dedicated volunteer effort by hundreds of local gardeners, it’s very gratifying to have the Parks Board recognize these incredible urban refuges with extended licenses. It’s a relief to know that the gardens are here to stay. Nothing else like them exists in Vancouver,” says Muggs Sigurgeison, a founding gardener.

The two gardens feature hundreds of garden plots teeming with an enormous variety of vegetables, herbs, and ornamentals. Individual creativity flourishes here, but gardeners also work together on common areas bursting with countless varieties of annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees. There are terraced gardens, oval gardens, water gardens, Asian gardens, wetlands, extensive composting systems, solar greenhouses and much more. Strathcona also features a unique Eco-House, a leading-edge sustainable building with solar energy, recycled materials, grey water recovery, and the only licensed composting toilet in Vancouver. The Environmental Youth Alliance’s youth garden, featuring native and heirloom plants, is maintained entirely by youth interns.



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