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Gardens to heal and inspire a community!

Oct 08, 2011 | All Blog Posts

 

Heatley street micro-garden

Eclipse Awards is located in Strathcona, a diverse light industrial/residential area of Vancouver that, over the past few decades, has become characterized by lots of concrete, barbed wire, fences and barred windows.  We've come to believe that this harsh and sometime cold environment contributes to the many social challenges we face in the area - it certainly doesn't instill any sense of inspiration or improvement!

So a few years ago we built our first garden on the street outside of 121 Heatley, our office at the time. Our goal was to soften the streetscape and create a healthier and more beautiful space that could be enjoyed by everyone that lived and worked here. 

We hired some students to dig out the dead soil and replaced it with rich organic soil and promptly planted it with flowers and lavender. We didn't know what to expect, but we were surprised and amazed by the reaction of the people in the community - they loved it!  In fact, they loved it so much that they wanted to start taking care of it and protecting it. Once they saw that other people were taking pride in their environment, they started to do the same - respect nurtures respect. 

This little stretch of land was used continually to plant flowers and vegetables by people with no access to land or nature. In terms of size, its only a small strip of garden, but the lessons we learned have been huge.

Since that time over 5 years ago, we've trucked in over 12 tons of organic soil to build 2 street level gardens and 2 green roofs.  We've created over 4500 sq.ft. of new green space and contributed to projects like the SOLEfood urban farm getting off the ground. It's simply a part of how we contribute to and integrate with our community, and part of developing the Strathcona Green Zone at the time. It's also how we measure the value that our company creates and part of our regenerative marketing.
 

Heatley street level garden

In fact, we just completed our 3rd street level garden.  We created the planter box completely out of reclaimed materials and leftover membranes that we had from our latest green roof.  We partnered with another Strathcona company to share in the delivery of soil as they are also building a garden in front of their office.