East Van's Copley Commons Community Garden project comes to fruition

A project coordinator with the Environmental Youth Alliance is calling the Copley Commons Community Garden project in East Vancouver “a dream come true”.

“We all ride the SkyTrain, and we look down and we see all these vacant lots, and we all have our dreams of, ‘Oh, if only we could grow food on that huge open space,’ ” Jodi Peters told the Straight by phone. “Well, now one of those huge wide-open spaces is going to be producing food.”

Peters said everyone is welcome at the project’s open house, happening on August 24 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at the corner of Vanness Avenue and Copley Street.

“It’s a fabulous location and already gets quite a lot of traffic through the vacant lot,” Peters said. “We can see the paths that people take. The bike traffic goes along the south side and lots of people walk to get to the [Nanaimo] SkyTrain [station], so it’s a perfect place to showcase what you can do with perennial fruit in Vancouver. Lots of people get to see it, and the whole purpose of it is to give a really good productive example of perennial fruits.”

Peters and her colleagues will be helping community members to establish their own plots and grow fruit trees.

In June, city council approved a $15,000 grant to EYA for the project, as part of $110,000 in community urban agriculture and neighbourhood food security grants.