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Trimble Park at W 8th Ave and Trimble St @

In response to demolitions in neighborhoods such as Point Grey area and the loss of specimen rhododendrons, some as one as 100 yrs. Inspired by one of the most beautiful rhododendron gardens in Dunedin NZ, I organized the community and engineered the designation of the SW corner of Trimble Park as a Community Garden with a mandate to protect heritage horticulturalspecimens. I dug up more than 50 specimens and set them in the park in co-ordination with the Vancouver Park Board. This took about 2 years. Meantime I collected the bushes as they became available and parked them bareroot cheek to jowel in my laneway parking spaces. This was further coordinated with the City's green spaces program with volunteers maintaining the corner bulges. I designed this area to be drought tolerant and low maintenance. It has attracted birds, squirrels and the occasional raccoon but also little humans who have trod a solid path through the undergrowth on empowering "jungle" adventures. There is one particularly large rhodo which was the main object of their desire to climb. I finally surrendered. The tree still stands and thrives despite being loved to death. The project was expanded by the donation of an old collection by a former resident who still owned a now demolished old Point Grey home. This gentleman's family currently sponsor a bench in his memory in the " garden". It would be nice if some of this history could commemorated publucly with a sign or something. Our greatest compliment came one day as we sweated away from a 92 year old lady who passed by daily and remarked that what we were doing was the best thing to happen there. Publicity of the project had people from all over the world stop by to help dig and delve. Children learned the incredible feeling of having tackeled a huge pile of dirt and to see that many tiny shovels weilded by determination could remove any obstacle. With careful planning I have reduced maintenance of this lovely glen to a once a year fall pruning of mainly the buldges. These plants are perennials donated by the community. I think it was one of the primary community growth projects. We called ourselves The Point Grey Village Gardeners and were identifiable by our bright green shirts. We also planted all the street gardens along W 10th Ave at the time. A sign explaining some of this might deter thefts. We owe a lot to the park superintendent who lives in the caretakers cottage nearby. She tries to keep a watch over it. I think we accomplished our objectives. I am not as spry as I was at 65 and any publicity might attract some younger faces to whom I could pass my knowledge of the specimens. It is a wonderful story that also involved help from city hall, truely an example of the old saying that nothing worthwhile was ever accomplished without the work of a small group of very determined people.

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