re·​sil·​iency.

1. a hopeful thing felt in the heart.

  1. the ability to adapt and transform to meet the challenges we face.

This project is centered on the question of resilience. What is it? Where does it come from? What can we do to deepen our sense of collective resilience as we face the Covid 19 crisis and future crisis as a community?

This work is supported by a grant from the City of Duncan, created in response to the Covid 19 crisis. We began the work in June, 2020 by reaching out to three neighbourhoods within the City of Duncan and calling together a community group in each area to work on these questions together. We have a circle of community members in Cairnsmore, in Centennial Park area, and in McAdam Park neighbourhood. In each circle we really reflected on our journey through the pandemic, and the places that we found resilience, and what could deepen this. We talked a lot about ecological resiliency. Food security. Supporting pollinators. We talked about the loss of community, the isolation created by the lockdown, the need to find ways to stay connected to our neighbours.

A vision began to take shape.

In McAdam Park we are working on a restoration project in the park, with a focus on pollinator habitat creation, and planting native flowering meadow plants. We are developing our proposal for the site at the moment, consulting with local experts, and working to remove the invasive species on the site. Our plan is to invite local community members to get involved in every step of the restoration process, and offering opportunities for the neighbourhood residents to come and learn about the local ecosystem. We will offer a series of workshops and work-bees where folks are given the opportunity to get their hands in the dirt and learn about native plant and insect species. We are working to develop a neighbourhood-based distributed native plant nursery, where people can take home native plant seeds, and dedicate an area of their own yard to growing these species. This will support the larger restoration effort in McAdam Park, and other future restoration efforts, and will also encourage residents to creatively integrate native plant species into their own yards. In supporting local pollinator and insect species and deeper ecological resiliency, it is essential to create a network of native plants throughout our neighbourhoods and cities. Building ‘pollinator pathways’ is important, so that the pollinator species are not isolated in parks or land preserves.
The native plant nursery is intended to encourage everyone to integrate these native plants into their yards, and will involve a lot of community outreach and engagement.

In Cairnsmore, we are focusing on boulevard garden planting in the neighbourhood. We are working to simplify the application process for planting out your boulevard, by offering folks ten different designs for potential garden ideas, each one created by a featured local permaculturist or landscaper. We want to build a local campaign to encourage neighbours to offer their boulevards to the pollinators, and challenge entire streets to take on the “pollinator pathway” challenge. We are also working on building a community notice board in the neighbourhood.

In Centennial Park, we are planning a series of basketry workshops, using invasive species found in the park. Our first workshop will feature local basketmaker Janice MacKirdy, and we will make small round baskets using English Ivy, harvested on the site.

To get involved in the project, please email hannahsophia@cowichangreencommunity.org

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