radicle beets

Letters to City Hall about the Malkin Connector by radiclebeets
January 14, 2013, 3:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Hello Folks,

A few months ago I mailed a hand written letter to city hall regarding the Malkin Connector. Soon after I received a letter in response saying that my letter would be distributed to the mayor and all of the city councilors. I thought I would share with you what I wrote. I have transcribed the letter below.

Mayor Gregor Robertson,
3rd Floor, City Hall
453 West 12th Ave
Vancouver BC
V5Y 1V4

October 2012

Dear Mayor Robertson and
Honourable city council members,

I am writing to you regarding the plans for the Malkin Connector that you are considering and how it will effect me personally, as a resident of Vancouver, and my community.

Recently there was a survey done with the residents of Vancouver, by the Vancouver Foundation, to find out how people feel about community and connectedness in this city. The results showed that most people living here feel very isolated and a severe lack of community. I found these results to be very surprising, because I find Vancouver to be a place with a huge potential for connection and where community is in abundance.

The first time I visited Vancouver I felt completely at home. It is one of the few places where I feel that way and it is the strong sense of community that keeps me living here. I don’t have a difficult time meeting people because I volunteer a lot of my time and get involved in a lot of different projects.

One of the groups that I am a part of is The Purple Thistle Radical Gardeners. This group has been working to turn unused and unproductive spaces into food producing land. The gardens are situated in a part of town that is full of warehouses and is a mostly grey and lifeless area. During my time with the Radical Gardeners I have gained a lot of hands on knowledge about growing food and plant medicine. I have also been learning beekeeping skills by working closely with experienced fellow gardeners.

Our largest garden project is the food forest situated at the end of Charles Street, just off Vernon Street, and it is a project that has been supported by the city so far. Over the last two seasons we have been putting a lot of work into setting up the site, planting fruit trees, building infrastructure, and getting the garden growing. Most recently we installed a water irrigation system.

During the week this forgotten cul-de-sac is usually full of parked cars from the people who work nearby. It is also a favourite spot for people to dump garbage and old broken furniture.

With the presence of a garden it has now become a gathering place where people lay in the grass and bonding happens over picnic lunches. And we’ve turned the garbage dump into a wetland restoration area. I meet at least one new person every time I go there. The people living nearby have been enjoying it and watching over the garden. The taxi drivers that work around the corner have also come over to tell us how much they appreciate our hard work.

This lovely little garden, where community happens, in now under threat from the Malkin Connector. The new road is going to pave right over this garden as well as two other community gardens. It would be a shame to lose this community space that we have put so much time and resources into.

I do not really understand what exactly the Malkin Connector is supposed to be connecting, but if we choose roads over gardens, I think it is going to result in more disconnection than anything else. Please reconsider this plan and take a closer look at what you will be destroying.


Jennifer Tigchelaar

East 4th Avenue
Vancouver BC
V5N 1J7


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