Village Vancouver

Vancouver's Leader in Transition toward Strong, Resilient, Complete Communities

Common Ground - July 2009, "Welcome to Village Vancouver" by Kathie Wallace and Ross Moster

OUR DEEPEST dream is to engage the creative capacity of individuals to build vibrant, engaged neighbourhoods that help transform our region into one that offers sustainable and equi-table living spaces for all. The question we ask at Village Vancouver is how we can catalyze and encourage people to step up, speak out and interact in community. Our intent is to pro-vide an exciting and inviting article featuring the stories of all of us extra/ordinary people to inspire connection with each other so we can "Give Peace a Chance."

Whether it’s sharing resources, helping neighbours in need, engaging in activities around food or getting together in any one of hundreds of other ways, we look forward to hearing your stories of what’s growing in your neighbourhood. Join in the fun. Email Ross Moster at rmoster@flash.net

Front porch food co-ops

NOWBC Co-op (Neighbours Organic Weekly) is an online market where local organic farmers and food processors can sell their produce year round. People can place their weekly order online and pick it up at one of 21 "neighbourhood depots" (a NOWBC member’s home) across Greater Vancouver. NOWBC was formed by a group of people who want to work together to eat locally grown, organic food bought from small-scale farms championing sustainable practices to ensure food security here in BC. Join the movement. See www.nowbc.ca

Let’s grow neighbourhoods

Help us develop, support and promote a diverse range of "village" initiatives. We are looking for neighbourhood-oriented stories and photos from you that inspire neighbours to come together in ways that promote community and sustainability. To get involved or have a conversation with us, see www.villagevancouver.ca. Our website offers events, upcoming workshops like Backyard Chickens 101, interactive blogs and other ongoing village activities.

Backyard chickens 101

Learn about the proper care of small, urban flocks of hens through neighbourhood based, interactive, backyard chicken workshops this summer with Heather Havens, an agricultural and animal scientist. Leave the workshop with your very own neighbourhood chicken support group. See www.chickensinvancouver.com

Transition towns
You can also read this article here.

We must expand our understanding to see the big connection and the interrelationship of everything. "Transition Towns" is a constructive, hands-on response to climate change and Peak Oil. Centred around working together in community, the grassroots Transition Towns movement (www.transitiontowns.org) has quickly spread around the world with over 1,000 initiatives. Join with Village Vancouver and others in building upon local initiatives designed to help individuals, neighbourhoods and communities "transition" to living well while using substantially less energy and reducing carbon emissions and increasing local resilience.

In my village

On my street in Dunbar, I learned what a village is. Bill started it because he welcomes people. He sits on his front porch and says "Hello" to passersby, sharing polite information with neighbours about neighbours and introducing us until we all know each other. Now we share ladders, food, toys, gardening tips and drainage advice; you name it and we share it. Bill also lives along a stretch of six houses that are fence-free. It is just one, long, connected yard. In the middle, grandparents Joe and Jenny keep toys out front and welcome children and their parents to stop and play. Every kid knows Joe and Jenny’s house.

My four-year-old is petrified of organized programs full of children, but he loves playing and learning together with the throng of kids on our block. Maryanne organizes the block party where Bill sets up tables in his front yard and makes a big pot of chili for the occasion. Maryanne also organizes the annual lane party; I mean, garage sale. Jerry coordinates the Block Watch group and we have a NOWBC food club. Now, I bring muffins over to new neighbours and say "Hello." – Contributed by Joanna Michal in Dunbar.

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