Vancouver petition grows on Arbutus gardens
Cheryl Carruthers has been gardening in the Arbutus corridor for a decade. (JEREMY NUTTALL)
Gardeners who have been issued eviction notices along Vancouver’s Arbutus corridor earlier this month say they have gathered nearly 5,000 signatures for a petition supporting their activities.
The gardeners hope the show of support will help the city find a solution to its dispute with Canadian Pacific Railway on the future of the corridor.
Weeks ago, the gardeners were told they had until the end of July to pull up roots and leave a stretch of unused railway that belongs to CP. Those who have plots at the Maple and Cypress gardens say the company is not budging.
“The representative from the CPR was firm in not granting us an extension beyond July 31,” said Maureen Ryan, spokeswoman for the gardeners. “They’ve put up new private property signs.”
Ryan is hoping a way can be found to have the gardens co-exist with the tracks, even if trains are using it.
In the past, CP and the city have negotiated possibilities for keeping the corridor open, but nothing has come to fruition.
Ryan said that in the meantime the gardeners are working to educate the community on the situation.
“We respect private property, but our community gardens are a beautiful and educative asset for the city,” she said.