19 – Public Health Association of BC Community Garden Policy in Surrey






Project Title

Can You Dig It: Understanding Municipal Community Garden Policies

Organization Name

Public Health Association of BC


Community gardens, urban agriculture, food policy, municipal policy, bylaws, City of Surrey, literature review

Organization Information

Organization Name

Public Health Association of BC

Mission and Vision of Organization

  • Vision: A fair and healthy British Columbia for all.
  • Mission: PHABC promotes health, wellbeing and equity for all British Columbians through leadership in public health.

Guiding Principles + Values

  • Approach: 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.
  • Identified priorities: Eliminating poverty; reducing health/socioeconomic inequities; addressing climate change and healthy environments; contributing to a sustainable, equitable economy; and preventing violence.

To view our goals and objectives, please visit: PHABC 2016 Strategic Plan

Contact Information

  • Primary Contact Person(s): Aaren Topley
  • Email: capitalregion@farmtoschoolbc.ca
  • Address: #210-1027 Pandora Ave, Victoria, BC V8V 3P6
  • Phone: 1- 250-885-7752
  • Website: https://phabc.org and https://www.cydi.ca/gardens
  • Best time(s) method(s) to contact: Email and phone. Please only call during business hours (Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm).

Project Information

Project Description

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.

The aim of this project is explore the policies and supporting documents that enable community gardens in the municipality of Surrey.

Project Goal

  • To identify and review all municipal and regional policies and supporting documents relevant to community gardens in Surrey, BC
  • To gain a better understanding of when and how Surrey City Council makes decisions about food policies

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)

  • Understanding of food municipal policies
  • Understanding of how municipal policies occur

Criminal record check required?

  • Not required

Project Location


Preferred Days of Week and Hours


Project/Partner Orientation Materials

  • City of Surrey website
  • City of Surrey Committee of the Whole and Council Minutes
  • The Official Community Plan and other strategic and policy related documents.

Related Community Service Opportunities for Students


Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

  • 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

Organizational Outcomes

  • A report that highlights all of the food policies and supporting documents that the City of Surrey has (specifically community garden policies)
  • A report that links to council meeting agendas and when specific community garden or food policies were discussed (2 to 3 examples)

More broadly, this project advances our organization’s goals by providing

  • A better understanding of the current political environment of the City of Surrey
  • A better understanding of how to City of Surrey is supporting community gardens

By understanding these two things, Can You Dig It will be better able to work with City of Surrey to support community gardens.

source: https://wiki.ubc.ca/Course:LFS350/Projects/W2019/F2S