Can You Dig It: Understanding City of Vancouver Municipal Community Garden Policies
Urban agriculture, food policy, municipal policy, community garden, community development, policy evaluation, urban food systems
Related Course Concepts
Asset based community development; food security
Mission and Vision of Organization
A fair and healthy British Columbia for all.
PHABC promotes health, wellbeing and equity for all British Columbians through leadership in public health.
Guiding Principles + Values
As a member-driven organization, we fulfill our mission through advocacy, collaboration and engagement activities, education, and research throughout the spectrum of public health practice and systems including prevention, promotion, protection and policy.
Eliminating poverty; reducing health/socioeconomic inequities; addressing climate change and healthy environments; contributing to a sustainable, equitable economy; and preventing violence.
- Primary Contact Person(s): Aaren Topley
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 250-885-7752
- Address: Victoria BC
- Website: phabc.org
Preferred Method of Contact
- Best method(s) to contact: Email, Phone
- Best day(s) to contact: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, I will be in town roughly one week per month for an in-person meeting. I will also be available by email or phone during the week.
- Best time(s) to contact: Mornings, Afternoons
Can You Dig It (CYDI) is a community garden initiative that was launched in 2009 to create opportunities for individuals and community groups to become included in the social fabric of their neighbourhoods. CYDI has created and supported 39 community gardens on public and private lands throughout the Lower Mainland, engaging over 40 partner organizations and 1,700 gardeners. PHABC has recently become responsible for supporting the CYDI gardens, and wishes to provide the most robust support possible. The aim of this project is to explore the policies and supporting documents that enable community gardens in the municipality of Vancouver.
Students will compile key food policies and supporting documents towards the development of a report that highlights the City of Vancouver's community garden policies. The report will link to council meeting agendas and when specific community garden or food policies were discussed (including 2 to 3 examples).
What challenge or issue does the project aim to address?
Understanding the complexity of individual municipal policies and practices with regards to community gardens.
Student Assets and Skills (preferred or required)
- Well organized, independent and attentive to detail
- Ability to collect, analyze and process large data
- Strong verbal and written communication skills
Student Assets and Skills (to be developed through the project)
- Understanding of food municipal policies
- Understanding of how municipal policies occur
Is a criminal record check required?
City of Vancouver
Preferred Days of Week and Hours
Project/Partner Orientation Materials
Students should review these materials prior to the first partner meeting:
- City of Vancouver Food Policy Website
- Vancouver Food Strategy
- Vancouver Food Strategy update report and action plan
- Vancouver Park Board Local Food Action Plan
- Relevant minutes from the City of Vancouver Committee of the Whole and Council (including Parks) (check with your TA for guidance)
- The Official Community Plan and other strategic and policy-related documents (check with your TA for guidance)
Additional Project/Partner Orientation Materials
The following will be provided at the first community partner meeting:
Related Community Service Opportunities for Students
- Students are strongly encouraged to attend one or more Vancouver Food Policy Council meetings
- In the event that an urban agriculture-related motion is being addressed at either a Vancouver City Council meeting or Park Board Committee meeting, students are strongly encouraged to attend and observe the proceedings
I hope students will learn about...
- municipal politics and policies
I think students will come to appreciate...
- how to explore and advance food policies
Through this project, students will develop...
- an understanding of municipal food policies
Intended Project (Short Term) Outcome
- By identifying and reviewing all municipal and regional policies and supporting documents relevant to community gardens in Vancouver, students will contribute to a better understanding of when and how Vancouver City Council makes decisions about food policies
Medium Term Outcomes
If the student project is part of a larger project at your organization, how will the students' work contribute to the goals of this larger project?
- By developing a report that highlights all of the City of Vancouver's community garden-related policies and supporting documents, students will reduce barriers to informed civil society planning and advocacy around community gardening issues.
How does the student project contribute to your organization's mission and long-term vision?
More broadly, this project advances PHABC's goals by providing:
- A better understanding of the current political environment of the City of Vancouver
- A better understanding of how to City of Vancouver is supporting community gardens
By understanding these two things, Can You Dig It will be better able to work with City of Vancouver to support community gardens.