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.