This has brought into question the whole idea of where community gardens should be located and what kind of public consultation should take place. Local residents complained that signage was minimal and located away from from paths and sidewalks. Local residents also said that while they supported a community garden, the proposed location was inappropriate as it was already well used.
The City of Vancouver and the Park Board are great supporters of community gardens as a way of building community and increasing local food capacity. While the latter goal may be debatable, the idea of building community in a diverse and dense population like Vancouver's is good. What needs to be discussed is where community gardens should be located. Are they a good use of parkland? Are there alternatives to parkland? Is building community gardens in parks "privatizing public space" as some have suggested? Does the city have unused land in its inventory that could be an alternative?
Before new proposals for community gardens in public parks are brought before the Park Board, I think both City Councillors and Park Board Commissioners need to look at where community gardens can best be located. Rather than the piecemeal process that is in place now, that often pits garden proponents against park users, I think an overall strategy, that includes public input, needs to be developed.