Burnaby team plant new community garden

April 12th, 2024

This spring For Our Kids Burnaby collaborated with another local climate group, Force of Nature Alliance and MetroVancouver to plant two native species gardens at Burnaby Lake. The event was the culmination and celebration of sorts for a truly community-wide initiative to protect the Fraser Foreshore Park, a beloved park in south Burnaby and an important riverside habitat for wildlife. Through these events, our group was able to experience, first hand, a variety of different ways we can work together to protect and care for local habitats.

To explain the background: last spring, the City of Burnaby had proposed the development of an organic waste facility to be located on part of the park. This led to a widespread, grass-roots response from the community to protect the forest. For Our Kids Burnaby collaborated with Force of Nature, BROKE and a local citizens group to raise money and awareness for this campaign, which grew rapidly. The city soon realized they had underestimated the community’s desire to protect this forest and the rich biodiversity it supports. They canceled the project. The money raised was not needed for the campaign, so we were able to use it for two events that also brought the community together to protect our parks in a different way.

In October, we collaborated with the City and the Invasive Species Council of MetroVancouver to remove invasive blackberries from Fraser Foreshore Park, and this spring we worked with a biologist from MetroVancouver to plant sword ferns, Oregon grape and vine maple at Burnaby Lake Park. Along with the many families of Burnaby For Our Kids and Force of Nature, many from the citizens group also joined the event.

We also had a very special bird walk with Sara, one of our members, at Burnaby Lake. Sara showed us how to use our observation skills to find and identify birds. In addition to being more informed to appreciate local wildlife, we also learned that knowing how to find birds can be an important way to protect forests. Last year, Sara was able to pause construction of the TMX pipeline by finding a hummingbird nest that would have been destroyed by the construction.

So through these connected events—community advocacy, hands-on-stewardship and honing our wildlife observation skills—our families have learned a lot about the different ways we can work together to protect our forests and precious wildlife and ecosystems they support.

Photo credits and thanks to Stephen Dreaver.

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