October 22, 2008

Guerrilla Gardening on CJSR's The Dirty Hoe.

Hey everyone, check out this Friday's (Oct 24) addition of CJSR's The Dirty Hoe to support the fundrive and look back upon a year of Guerrilla Gardening.

The Dirty Hoe airs every Monday @ 2pm and Friday @ 12:05pm on CJSR FM88.

September 24, 2008

Native Plant Garden Sets Roots in MIll Creek

Here are some photos of last Saturdays group breaking at the abandoned Mill Creek site. The soil was a little tough and the weeds a little think but the grounds of a brand new native garden have been broken. Thanks to Cherry Dodd for helping us out with some plants, tools, and advice, and to all those who showed up to lend a hand.

There is talk of taking Saskatoon cuttings this upcoming weekend.

September 15, 2008

Event: (Sep 20) Mill Creek Native Plant Garden


Preparing soil, planting native plants, and BBQing!

After checking out the site last weekend we've decided to go ahead with the creation of a Native Plant Garden on an abandoned site in the MIll Creek Ravine.

Plants provided by the Edmonton Naturalization Group. Need only bring a few tools.

There's also much talk about having a fire and roast after the work is completed. I think a potluck scenario probably works best. BYOB.

When: Saturday, September 20, 2008, 1:00pm - 5:30pm
Where: Meet outside the "Rount 99 Diner" (8820-99Sst NW) We can walk to the site from there.

Dustin Bajer
(780) 432.6181

September 6, 2008

ACTV Launch Party

A few posts back I mentioned a new media initiative in Alberta; active citizens television (ACTV) so I thought that I would invite everyone to attend their Official Website Launch Party this upcoming Friday, September 12.

  • Friday, September 12, 2008
  • Reception: 6:00 pm
  • Screening 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
  • Latitude 52, (1028-106st. 2nd floor. Edmonton)

August 29, 2008

Seed Scattering/Bombing + Saskatoon Cuttings

Just a few GG ideas I thought I'd throw out into the universe for this fall. Anyone interested is encouraged to contact me at theurbangreening@gmail.com :

Event: Seed scattering/Bombing: 

Scattering seeds throughout empty planters, medians, and back allies. The fall is actually a good time to scatter many seeds as the frost helps break the tough outer coat allowing for easier germination in the spring. Seeds can be cast by hand or molded into seed bombs

I have many lupin seeds; they're a gorgeous perennial  but not native and not the easiest to grow. I'd like to seeing if we could find some suitable seeds to cast out into the city; native wildflowers in particular, but non-invasive non-native seeds would also be welcome.

Date: ~ End of September

Event: Native Fruit Tree Cuttings:

I thought that it might be an interesting project to take many cuttings from some of the native Saskatoons and Pin-Cherrys in the river-valley. Taking cutting requires clipping about 4 or 6 inches off the growing end of a branch. Best done when the plant is dormant, each clipping has the potential to grow into a new fruit producing tree.  Each sapling could then be planted along the river valley's edge for the future enjoyment of the cities berry pickers.

Date: ~ After the leaves fall.

August 11, 2008

The Edmonton Journal follows-up on the Edmonton Guerrilla Gardeners first season.

Once again, the Edmonton Guerrilla Gardeners have made their way into the pages of the Edmonton Journal. The article is a general follow-up of a previous Journal article printed earlier this year and provides a brief overview of our first season as an organized group as well as some of our success' and failures.

Jennifer Yang, the author of both articles was quick to apologize for a headline (she had not chosen) as she felt that it misrepresented the story (We forgive you Jennifer). Although the headline, "Someone Digs Guerrilla Gardeners: All flowers surreptitiously planted have been stolen away" reads as though perhaps our effort have been wasted we are continuously reminded that the act of planting and the intentions behind what we do is often more important than the outcome. Due to the nature of our group it has always been expected that a certain percentage of our efforts will be uprooted, literally. In all honesty, if the headline is referring to the Jasper Avenue planting discussed in the first Journal article then it is bang-on as our plants did slowly disappeared from the site; likely into the backyards and planters of nearby homes (as long as someone is enjoying them). We have, however, had some great success as well, such as the planting of a crabapple tree (harder to dig up?) and in general the promotion of the group and act of community involvement through GG. The truth is, Edmonton Guerrilla Gardening is a sociological experiment of sorts  that we're learning from all the time.

Overall, however, I quite enjoyed the article and thought that it spoke well of our efforts, highlighted some of the struggles many new (especially controversial) groups face in their genesis, and expressed our optimistic outlook of the future.

That's not to say we're completely finished for the season. Many seeds and perennials can still be sown and transplanted in the fall to help kink-start another year of Guerrilla Gardening. A year in which we'll be a little more knowledgeable, prepared, and numerous.

The Edmonton Journal follows-up on a first season of Guerrilla Gardening in Edmonton.

Once again, the Edmonton Guerrilla Gardeners have made their way into the pages of the Edmonton Journal. The article is a general follow-up of a previous GG article printed earlier this year and provided a brief overview of our first year as an organized group as well as some of our success and failure.

Jennifer Yang, the author of both articles (but not the most recent articles headline) was quick to apologize for what she felt was a "

August 9, 2008

A Moss Art Project

A few of us gathered together tonight to work on an art related Guerrilla Gardening Project. The stencil on the left was created from some large refrigerator boxes and will be used to help make the pattern of a giant tree with the city of Edmonton's skyline growing from its crown. The picture symbolizes the often overlooked link between the urban and natural environments.

Moss not Paint: What makes this project unique is that the image will be stenciled with moss. The idea is that over time moss will grow in to create an organic, living picture. A bonus of using moss is that it can always be removed easily without causing any damage.

We'd like to get more of these art based Guerrilla Gardening projects going in the future. Some ideas include hanging plants potted in recycled clothing in public view and having picnics on sod rolled out in front of fed parking meters.

August 8, 2008

Active Citizens Television (ACTV)

I just had a very productive meeting with Dan from Active Citizens Television (ACTV) (link effective Sep 12, 08); a up-and-coming independent media source in Alberta. I'd like to try and elaborate on what it is they do but I feel as though their business card says it best:

"ACTV is a non-for-profit, youth-driven, new-media initiative to educate,
motivate, and 'ACTV-ate' Albertans to discover and pursue sustainable living
practices and promote ecological consciousness"

Talking with Dan I could sense many similarities between the two group (ACTV and GG) not only in general goals and motivations but also in regards to the growing pains many new movements experience. As our meeting progressed it became apparent that there is much potential for collaboration. ACTV is interested in promoting our activities by creating and posting short films, articles, and helping us with resources and connections with groups similar in nature in return we help provide useful material and projects for them to cover. It truely is a win win situation.

ACVT is launching their website on September 12, 2008 (myspace available now) at a local venue (soon to be announced) and is interested in GG being a part of it in one form or another.

Here's to what will hopefully be a productive and effective partnership!

July 12, 2008

July 12, 2008 The Old Strathcona Sapling Giveaway.

We had a very successful morning passing out saplings at the Farmers Market, Art Walk, and Rachel Notley's pancake breakfast in Old Strathcona. We handed out more than 160 saplings along with planting instructions and group contact information. I was surprised to see how many people were familiar with the concept of Guerrilla Gardening, the group, or both.

We still have a few less than perfect looking trees that would be great for Guerrilla planting. I think I'm going to walk around my neighborhood and stick a few in the ground; they may not all make it, but some should. If anybodies interested in joining me or taking on a few trees for themselves please get in touch.


July 10, 2008

Edmonton Guerrilla Gardening on C2C.

Here's a link to an article I was recently asked to write for connect2edmonton.com regarding Guerrilla Gardening in Edmonton. C2C is a rapidly growing online community that highlights the interests and passions of many Edmontonians and groups.

Make sure to check out the discussion posted at the bottom of the article.

July 7, 2008

Volunteers Needed

In order to help get the Guerrilla Gardening word out there and find proper homes around the city for our saplings we're looking for volunteers to help hand out our trees at this weeks Street Performers Festival and Scona Farmers market. Each tree will be distributed with a short 'how-to' and GG contact information sheet. Anyone interested in helping out, or having a few trees please contact theurbangreening@gmail.com

July 1, 2008

Canada Day Sightseers Take Note of GG Apple Tree.

As it turns out our little crabapple tree had a lot of company this past Canada Day. Located in a prime fireworks viewing spot 1000's of people joined the tree in a viewing of this year's display.

"I was wondering where that tree came from!" exclaimed a man who had set up camp next to the tree. Many others appeared to admire the tree while gathering in a circle around it while waiting for the fireworks to start. Perhaps with a little care and time the tree will become a popular gathering spot for such events. Meet you at the tree?

For more picture visit the Facebook group and click on Photos.

June 30, 2008

Event: Pantyhose Project, Sign Painting, & Sapling Decision Making

A new GG event has been created; "Panty-Hose Project, Sign Painting, & Sapling Decision Making" for this upcoming Thursday, the third of July. The event it at my apartment so if you haven't been sent an invite but would still like to attend follow the link and request an invite we'd be glad to have you. If you don't have Facebook send an email to theurbangreening@gmail.com. This weeks even will center around some smaller projects we've been discussing; painting signs to be displayed at GG projects and the community garden, trying out a pantyhose flower basket, and picking a date for our saplings.

Also, I'm currently figuring out the ropes of the Activist Agenda; an online news letter that goes out to over 1000 people each Thursday. I'd like to get something in it for this week in response to our sapling trees who are still in dire need of finding homes.


June 28, 2008

The Carrots: Community Arts Coffeehouse

The Carrot community arts coffeehouse is a community based, completely volunteer run, coffee shop located at 9351-118 ave.

I know, I know, this may not exactly be Guerrilla Gardening related but I couldn't keep myself from mentioning a most fantastic community run cafe I can across recently while scoping out a place to do some open mic. The entire experience was very eclectic; from a yodeling clown to a free roaming five year old girl dancing to the sounds of the open mic, the Carrot Cafe seamed to have an atmosphere like no other. One lady in the audience accompanied each performance with her own brand of wood-block, scrapper, brand of percussion; although not always in time.

Located in an area not usually known for its welcoming demeanor, the Carrot Cafe is a haven of creativity and community. It's easy to see that the volunteers and community members behind the project are working hard together to create a truly positively refuge in the 118 avenue community. A highly recommended experience.

June 25, 2008

GG does "The Works"

Hey so a few of us were thinking it would be cool to support and check out some local culture and check
out "The Works" on Friday.

"The Works" is an Edmonton Art and Design Festival featuring artists from around the world, boosting the energy and imagination of Downtown Edmonton at the start of every summer.

The Works is a free event offering over 200 exciting exhibits and special events to the public.

We were thinking we could meet at Winston Churchill Square around 6:30-7:00 and head out to various shows and exhibits around downtown. It's pretty much just an excuse to hangout and support one of the best festivals this city has to offer in the summer.

We can scope future planting sites while we're at it too.

Sorry for the short notice,hopefully you can come!


June 24, 2008

Encouraging words from David Tracey.

I've recently been in contact with Vancouver Guerrilla Gardening advocate David Tracey. David is the author of "Guerrilla Gardening; A Manualfesto" put out by New Society Publishers (look under 'Cutting Hedge Links for more info). I basically contacted him for any advice he might have regarding the asking permission or not. Here is an excerpt from his reply. (David, I hope you don't mind):

"First and foremost: congratulations. I've heard from a number of people who say they're keen to do guerrilla gardening, but I'm always most encouraged whenever someone actually does it. Sounds like your group is off to a great start. Getting the various support inputs you mentioned can only help.

On your question...I wish I knew what to tell you. I wouldn't presume to know enough from afar to make any kind of intelligent suggestion. Even in a local case, the circumstances are always so particular that there's no one answer that will fit all.

In general terms, though, I wonder sometimes if I wasn't a bit too supportive in the book of the asking permission part. (I just had a talk with a cop here yesterday over a community garden project some folks are trying to get going, with the rights to the land still in negotiation...and she was the one who came up first with 'It's better to ask for forgiveness than permission.') We probably tend to do more of it here in Vancouver than some places because there's been general acceptance of the idea at various political levels. But that doesn't mean we haven't gotten burned by asking first -- I'm still reeling from the one Park Board manager who stopped our solar-powered-wetland-habit-reclamation projection purely out of spite.

Like everything, it all depends. Something like 600 trees by a highway sounds like an idea politicians (and the bureaucrats they're supposed to manage) could well get behind, and even provide funds that could help you expand. On the other hand you could get stuck with some dolt who gets determined to keep the land barren for whatever weird reason.

I think in the end you already have the right approach -- to look at the desired result and then work backwards. If you know already you can pull off the 600 trees, you might well go ahead and do it, with a sizeable crew so it's finished long before anyone can complain. Then you could call attention to it, maybe even use the publicity to attract more people and resources for the next campaign.

One important thing to think about is the after-care. Here on the coast we have a summer drought that makes new trees particularly vulnerable. Without irrigation anything that small is pretty much destined to die in our climate. One advantage to going the official route in your case could be the authorities agreeing to do the watering or set up irrigation or whatever works."

- David Tracey in an email regarding Guerrilla Gardening in Edmonton.

If you'd like to find a link to David's most fantastic book "Guerrilla Gardening; A Manualfesto' you can find a link posted in our 'Cutting Hedge Links" section on the right. David's book is an excellent, must read for any would be GUerrilla Gardener, highly recommended.

June 20, 2008

Ezines may be great way to promote GG.

CJSR recently contacted the Edmonton Guerrilla Gardeners wanting to advertise the group in their online ezine. I've also been able to contact those responsible for putting out the Activist Agenda, a weekly ezine dedicated to promoting activist activities around the city of Edmonton. If anyone knows of any other advertising resources that Gg should be taking advantage of please let us know, add a comment.

CJSR ezine (with GG spot)


Activist Agenda Website


June 19, 2008

Grant MacEwan wants to promote GG.

We've recently been contacted by an Amy who would like to introduce Guerrilla Gardening to Grant, I thought I would grab some opinions opinion. She writes:

"I work at Grant MacEwan College doing Non-credit environmental programing, which in a nut shell means brining in speakers and showcasing different areas of environmental sustainability to any of the demographics at the college. I am currently planning for the new semester (setp-dec) and would like to showcase guerilla gardening, i would ideally like to showcase it for a week with a booth and information as well as a "make your own seed bomb" station as well as have a sign up sheet for students to do a plant (all though because of legalities it would have to be one where we have permission on the land as this would be a Grant Mac sanctioned activity) but the real purpose is to get students invovled in the new guerilla gardening group... so I was wondering if we could chat and if you would be interested in collaborating with me on this, basically what i need is some information on the legal side of it (i would like to know how you guys did the jasper ave plant) as well as your permission and hopefully enthusiasm to set up a plant date and sight with you that the students could sign up for and then they would be hooked into your network as the showcase at the college would only be for a week and the real intent is to bring some awareness as well as send people to the community already started."

June 18, 2008

The Guerrilla Gardening Potluck Planting Picnic!

When: Saturday, June 21, 2008 from 3-6pm
Where: Whitemud park North, where Whitemud Freeway meets Fox Drive.
What: A tree planting social

Join us for a chance to get acquainted with guerrilla gardening, everyone is welcome!

We thought that it might be a great opportunity coax a few additional group member out to an event. The group is growing so we would love to get everyone who's interested in guerrilla gardening together.

The Plan:

There will be a meeting at "Whitemud Park North" located near the corner of the Whitemud Freeway and Fox Drive (turn right instead of left to go to Fort Edmonton Park). Once there we will distribute 600 saplings between everyone.

We'll all disperse and scatter the seedling all over the city at which point we'll return for a social event and picnic.

BYOB (Bring your own blanket), and possibly a garden trowel and water.

Invite your friends!

Recent Edmonton Guerrilla Gardening Activities

(June 15, 2008) Planted a crabapple tree in a highly visible, naturalized grassland area north of Walterdale Rd.
(June 8, 2008) Planted two vegetable plots donated by the country of Sherwood Park with the hopes of redistributing the harvest back to the community.
(May 31, 2008) Very successful brainstorming session, many fantastic ideas and project ideas! A few of them:

Vegetable garden, Native plant garden, Mass plating on 95th - Jasper, The Pantie Hose Project, Moss Art, Harvest Festival.,Green Mapping)
(May 23, 2008) Planting on the corner of Jasper and 95st with the Edmonton Journal and CBC Radio One in tow.
(May 18, 2008) Planting in Old Strathcona, railway tracks and abandoned ESSO Station fence.

What is Guerrilla Gardening?

Guerrilla Gardening is a rapidly growing social and environmental movement that aims to redefine the use of public space by promoting issues of community ownership,  food scarcity, the reestablishment of native species and habitat, and directly replenishing the environment in which we live our daily lives.

Guerrilla Gardening is the act of gardening beyond our own back yards; sometimes without permission. It should be noted, however, it is never a guerrilla gardeners intention to do harm.

Guerrilla Gardeners typically target parking/vacant lots, unused public space, empty or unloved flower beds, and generally unsightly locations around their community by means of anonymous guerrilla gardening.