Vancouver Parks Board – Garden Signs






Project Title

What’s Growing On? Using storytelling and interpretive signage to cultivate awareness of food production in Vancouver’s Parks

Project Description

This project is an exciting opportunity to cultivate awareness about urban agriculture, and create a culture rooted in respect for the earth and inclusivity of Vancouver residents in food production in parks. The group of students will develop unique interpretive/educational signage for 1 or 2 existing and new urban agriculture projects in Vancouver Parks. This project involves three key components: (final deliverables to be determined in collaboration with student group):

  • Create and deliver a workshop to community garden members to inform interpretive signage and gather stories
  • 1 or 2 interpretive signs for community gardens with the aim to improve public awareness and inclusivity of community gardens in public parks; potential garden locations include Sunset Park, Charleson Park, or Woodland Park
  • Based on research and workshop with community garden members, students will produce a publically available interactive storytelling map including audio-visual components based on stories harvested from the garden (tbd)

Project Goal

  • Invitation to the public to interact with community gardens in Vancouver’s Parks.
  • Education about native plants, pollination, local food growers community
  • This project supports the goals and actions of Park Board’s Local Food Action Plan (2015), and overall contributes to access and inclusivity of Vancouver’s local food assets, and a just and sustainable food system. This project will also significantly support the following City-wide policies:

Skills Preferred + To Be Developed

  • Creativity (knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite and/or other graphic/media software if possible; if not familiar with this software then this is a great opportunity to learn!)
  • Urban food systems
  • Awareness of food security and food justice issues and policies in Vancouver
  • Experience in collaborative community development processes

Preferred Days of Week and Hours


Project Location

  • Site visits as appropriate at selected garden in Vancouver
  • Students can work from anywhere (home, school, coffee shop etc.)
  • The garden location will be accessible by transit
  • Community location for workshop

Project / partner orientation

  • Site visit to selected garden site
  • Preliminary research on interpretive signage (already conducted by project partner)
  • Vancouver Park Board Local Food Action Plan
  • City of Reconciliation Framework
  • Vancouver Park Board website
  • Public Engagement and Community Development articles and resources
  • tbd

Related Community Service Opportunities for Students


Organization Information


Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation

Mission + Vision

The Park Board’s mission is to provide, preserve, and advocate for parks and recreation services to benefit all people, communities, and the environment.

Guiding Principles + Values:

The Park Board has a vital role to play in achieving a just and sustainable food system for Vancouver. The Park Board is asset rich, and the land and facilities under Park Board management can be significant contributors to a thriving local food system. The Park Board can facilitate unique connections between people, their health, their communities and the ecosystem within its mandate of connecting people to green space, healthy, living and community. In 2012 the Park Board formally recognized the importance of local food in the organization and included a local food objective in the strategic plan.

Nurturing community engagement (also called public engagement, public participation, or public involvement) is a fundamental civic goal.

  • We believe that people who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process;
  • We promise that the public's contribution will influence the decision;
  • We promote sustainable decisions by recognizing and communicating the needs and interests of all participants, including decision-makers;
  • We seek out and facilitate the involvement of people potentially affected by or interested in a decision;
  • We seek input from participants in designing how they participate;
  • We provide participants with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way;
  • We communicate to participants how their input affected the decision.

Primary Contact

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

  • I hope students will learn about visually communicating technical information that is inclusive and accessible to the public.
  • I think students will come to appreciate collaborative community development processes.
  • Students will develop an understanding for public design processes.

Organizational Outcomes

  • Public invitation to community gardens in public parks
  • Interpretive signage for a select park
  • Content for website that is publically accessible
  • Urban agriculture knowledge from students and community