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The Environmental Youth Alliance started the Youth Garden at Cottonwood Gardens in 1993. The site of the garden, once a high crime area within the Downtown Eastside, is now a safe place for youth. At the garden they learn about organic food production, ecological restoration, public art, landscaping, and construction. Among its many goals, this garden aims to raise community awareness regarding the importance of gardens and wild spaces within urban areas.
Features at the Garden:
- The Herb Garden cultivates herbs for the production of lip balms, shampoos, medicinal teas and cough syrups.
- The Native Edible Plant Garden provides local wildlife with plants that would have grown naturally prior to urban development.
- The Espalier is an interesting feature created by tying and pruning dwarf fruit trees on a wire fence. Although the Youth Garden is focuses primarily on the natural and wild, the Espalier provides an opportunity to design with nature.
- Willow's Drink Pond helps restore what was once a large wetland area. It has become home to local aquatic and bird species.
- The Permaculture Food Forest mimics the mechanics of a natural forest. By incorporating underground, crawling plants perennial, shrubs trees and climbing plants, the Food Forest demonstrates an effective method for maximizing the potential of small garden plots.
- The Passive Solar Greenhouse provides an example of how careful building can eliminate the need for electricity. The Solar Greenhouse provides enough warmth to germinate seeds in the cooler months.
The Environmental Youth Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the urban environment through grassroots action.
Category: Urban Agriculture/ Environmental Education
Project: The Environmental Youth Alliance Youth Garden
Address: PO Box 34079, Station D, Vancouver, B.C., V6J 4M1
Phone: (604) 689-4463, Fax: (604) 689-4242