In a rapidly growing city, there are concerns of social isolation and a lack of a sense of community among urban dwellers. Increasingly, Vancouver condo dwellers are looking for ways to connect with their neighbours.
A partnership between Can You Dig It (CYDI) and the Bosa Properties Foundation is creating opportunities for the community to combat isolation while fostering food security. Located atop the new Bosa False Creek building is one of CYDI’s community gardens. With the help of Can You Dig It, the garden is cared for and cultivated by residents, providing a healthy space to connect and meet their neighbours while enjoying the harvest. Gardeners range from kids and parents, to retirees. With the elderly, people with mobility issues and new immigrants, the garden also provides the opportunity for positive social interaction. A portion of the yield from the garden is also contributed to food depots to help those in need.
Can You Dig It was launched in 2009 by posAbilities, a non-profit Community Living Association, as an innovative way to create new opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities and their neighbours through food gardening. Since 2010, CYDI has created and supported nearly 40 community gardens, both public and private, throughout the Lower Mainland.
The Bosa Properties Foundation was created with the philosophy that a new building has the potential to positively influence the local community. Bosa Foundation President Sylvia Bosa is an enthusiast of collaborative philanthropy — “It’s not just about writing a cheque, it’s about the collective impact you can make when you work with the community.”
These rooftop gardens not only provide healthy and locally grown food for residents, but also social inclusion and networking between neighbours that many crave.