These fine folks played a vital role in providing the initial support for this project and through the planning phase to make sure that the vision fit in nicely with the Pearson community. CARMA works to keep this project truly community-integrated through various communication channels: Pearson Resident Council, the DABC website, DABC newsletter, and good old fashioned conversation.
George Pearson Centre Resident Council
This project takes place in their backyard. They gave their blessings and welcomed outsiders in. Thank you.
At the helm of Liz Bloomfield we were allowed to convert 1 acre of George Pearson Centre lawns and patio to food growing community space. We have continued to enjoy support from GPC’s administrators and staff through a decade of co-operation, collaboration, spontaneous conversation and laughs.
VCH owns this beautiful piece of land, and they kindly agreed to let this project go ahead. In 2012 we formalized the relationship with a contract between Farmers on 57th, overseen by the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities (now DABC), and VCH. This will help strengthen or relationship as we proceed with the upcoming transformations to the Cambie corridor. VCH also funded an improvement to the wheelchair accessibility of the therapeutic gardens in 2019, and a rebuild of the Resident’s gardens in 2021, replacing rotted wood frames with beautiful yellow cedar framing.
In our first year, the City of Vancouver donated 70 yards of compost for the project (that’s THREE trailer and truck-fulls) and dropped off bark mulch on our doorstep. Since then the City has continued to support us with business planning and infrastructure funds, the land and compost for the Growing Eden gardens in South Vancouver and when we needed to move the farm in 2019. In 2020 the city provided us with an infrastructure grant to improve our weekly pop-up harvest processing centre. We like them, very much.
This great organisation works to support people with physical disabilities. Their motto is “We believe it’s ability not disability that counts”. We are grateful for their ongoing financial support of our Garden Club program, since 2010. Thanks BC Rehab!
This fine institution supports us in so many ways. They bring friends and family for impromptu site tours, talk about our project on Sunday mornings, work and volunteer in our programs, and support us with donations (thank you Betty). Since 2015, the UCV has provided ongoing funding of the Growing Eden project received from Vancouver Foundation’s Robert and Anna Koerner Foundation Community Fund. Thank you! Hear Jen Rashleigh describe on a Sunday morning stories from the Growing Eden program.
Since the Growing Eden garden moved from the eastern lawns of George Pearson Centre to City owned land adjacent to Bobolink Park in 2015, South Vancouver Family Place have been our partners in facilitating family-oriented garden programming for newcomer families. They provide staff and infrastructural support so the Growing Eden program can continue to thrive and strive, and bring families to the garden each and every year.
South Vancouver Neighbourhood House
South Vancouver Neighbourhood House gained us access to land for the Growing Eden program, and continue to hold the lease with the City of Vancouver that enables us to continue this program into the indefinite future.
Since 2011, Master Gardeners have been volunteering with our Garden Club program, coming each week to help residents gardeners with disabilities who need some extra help with planting, harvesting… It is great to have their expertise in the program, and brings so much to the garden and community. In 2021, the Master Gardeners convened an educational series to enhance the learning of our market garden volunteers taking part in our Urban Farming Volunteer Learning Program.
Public Health Association of BC
This organisation is heading up an effort to get more fresh local food into our health care facilities. They have invited us to panel talks, and help spread the word on our programs, and are generally movers and shakers of the most fantastic variety.
We have been so grateful to receive generous donations of seed since 2019, in support of our Growing Eden, Garden Club, Grow Your Own Food and Urban Farming Volunteer Learning Programs.
Stantec, through their Stantec in the Community program, helped with the initial build of the Resident’s wheelchair accessible garden beds in 2009, and again in 2019 when we had to move the farm. We are so grateful for their teams coming out to support us when we needed them most, and their ongoing funding for garden supplies, tools and equipment.
These fine folks have approached us several times and said “As a company, we like to support worthwhile causes and projects each year. Can we send you a donation?” (!!!) Many thanks to them for their sense of leadership and citizenry. These things make our day. Our year. They have funded infrastructure including, in 2021, a new community garden shed and communal tools supporting improved access to community members to the community garden plots.
ONNI, who purchased 22 of the 25.4 acre Pearson-Dogwood lands from Vancouver Coastal Health in 2015, provided us much needed funds to move the farm to the western lawns of George Pearson Centre in 2019. We are grateful for their support as we navigate the ongoing redevelopment of the Pearson-Dogwood lands.
Vancity Credit Union and TD Canada Trust Friends of the Environment Fund
These were our seed funders in 2009. It is a wonderful thing when a grant giving foundation believes in your vision & supports it.
United Way generously provided a three year grant to start our Growing Eden project on the grounds of George Pearson Centre in 2011. This was an amazing commitment to boosting food security and community development in South Vancouver. Thank you United Way!
DIGA (Disabled Independent Gardeners’ Association)
Betty from DIGA contacted us early on to set up a partnership. They gardened in our community gardens, and they hold lectures and workshops on gardening at Pearson for residents and the wider community of people with disabilities.
Department of Land and Food systems at UBC: the AgSci 350 class
Part of our project vision is to offer Farmers on 57th as a teaching, learning and research site for issues of urban agriculture and food security. So we were very pleased to have the Agricultural Science 350 class take on our site as a community research project in the spring of 2009. Three teams of undergraduate students looked at two research topics: 1) they researched into how to connect the existing Pearson community kitchen with the new market gardens, and 2) they helped design the upcoming fruit tree orchards.
Marpole-Oakridge Community Centre
The community centre is only a few blocks away, and they got right on the bus with our project. Their programming staff advertised and handled registration for our beginner’s gardening course, and they arranged for us to borrow a whack of City wheelbarrows and shovels in our first year of operations…invaluable for our super-sized inaugural work party.
University of British Columbia AMS Bike Co-op We have nothing but gratitude for these fine people. Kevin Cooper (originally part of the UBC AgSci 350 class) was also President of the AMS Bike Co-op at UBC in 2009, and he arranged all the logistics to make our market produce COMPLETELY PEDAL-POWERED.
Each week through our inaugural 2009 season, Kevin and Martin Gunst picked up our produce from Pearson, and transported them by bicycle & cart to market. Once there, they offered bike-home deliveries for shoppers, and encourage people get out of their cars and onto their bicycles. It’s an amazing service, and they did it all with a smile 🙂
Sir Wilfrid Laurier Annex
Six elementary school classes gardened three plots and brought their Kid Energy to Pearson in the early days of the project.