Pandora Park Community Garden is currently under development as part of the City of Vancouver’s 2010 in 2010 initiative – a project to create 2010 new community garden plots across the city. The competition encompasses the northwest corner of the garden, an area that has been reserved for public amenities including picnic facilities, storage for garden tools, a beehive, and a small fruit tree orchard. With stunning views of the north shore mountains and surrounding park and garden, the site offers the possibility to design a space for contemplation and congregation, in addition to serving the gardens needs for seating and storage.
The primary objective is to demonstrate that natural, hand built, recycled, or otherwise sustainably produced building materials and technologies can be used in a contemporary aesthetic and community garden context. Entrants are therefore encouraged to use materials in innovative ways in the tradition of Samuel Mockbee’s Rural Studio. Materials may include, but are not limited to: rammed earth, cob, straw bale, reclaimed wood, offcut dimensional lumber, and salvaged materials from any source. A list of identified salvaged materials from local builders and suppliers is provided below.
Pandora Park is an older, medium-sized inner city park on Vancouver’s east side. The park serves the Hastings Sunrise neighbourhood, which is home to a wide mix of income levels, ethnic backgrounds and types of housing. The neighbourhood to the east of the park, with the exception of lots facing Nanaimo Street, is zoned for single-family homes. The neighbourhood surrounding the park west of Nanaimo Street is a mix of low-rise apartments, condominiums, and single family homes. Much of the housing in the area serves low-income households with no access to garden space. Directly south of the park lies a busy commercial district along Hastings Street, which boasts a wide variety of food markets, restaurants and small shops.
The park provides valuable outdoor recreational space for the neighbourhood, including four concrete tennis courts, a basketball area, a grassy playing field, picnic tables, a wading pool and a children’s play gym and swings. Recent renovations to the park’s central alleyway and play area have helped bring more neighbours to the Park, while discouraging illicit activity. The garden is bordered by a number of mature trees, including large maples along Pandora Street and the north edge of the park. Two small holly trees stand at the south entrance to the garden.
The new community garden is a 100′x100′ fenced area at the southwest corner of the park. When completed, the garden will contain 66 garden plots of various sizes, including 4 wheelchair accessible plots at the north end, adjacent to the competition area. Cold water lines for garden watering have been installed throughout the site. A curved walking path cuts through the centre of the garden from Franklin Street to the existing pedestrian path that exits the park at Templeton Drive and Pandora Street. In addition to individual garden plots, perennial flowers and edible berries will be planted throughout the garden for public harvest.
The competition site is an approximately 1000 sq.ft. quarter circular area at the northwest corner of the garden. This area gently slopes down toward the northwest, and offers fantastic views of the north shore mountains. The area is bound by an existing chain link fence atop a granite retaining wall to the west, the garden fence to the north, and the garden path to the east.