City Farmer Creates Strathcona Community Garden

City Farmer and the Strathcona Community Garden

City Farmer (incorporated as Echo Energy Society) began in 1978 as a research and promotion organization, which published a newspaper about urban agriculture. Articles about community gardens were featured, our resource library grew with books and reports on the topic, and in 1979 we attended the first American Community Garden Conference (ACGA) in Chicago. In the early 1980's the ACGA held their conference in Seattle and City Farmer organized a bus tour to Vancouver to show off our city's community gardens.

Through the early years, City Farmer looked for a Vancouver site where we might start a community garden. Because a number of our founding directors lived at 772 East Georgia in Strathcona, just blocks from the vacant lot that became Strathcona Community Gardens, that site was on our list.

During 1984, executive director Michael Levenston and volunteer Leslie Scrimshaw developed a "Centennial Year Community Gardens" plan (Vancouver's 100th year was in 1986) that included the development of the Strathcona site, and by the Fall of 1984 the plan was receiving media attention and support from the community.

In April of 1985 City Farmer received both a Federal 'Canada Works' grant and Vancouver Park Board approval for the development of the Strathcona vacant land. Leslie Scrimshaw was hired by City Farmer to help develop the gardens and was paid to do so from April 12, 1985 until January 31, 1986.

See the links to many media and other documents that detail some of the activities that took place during those early months in the history of the Strathcona Community Gardens.

See the early history of Strathcona Community Garden here.

Michael Levenston