On Sat. Jun. 8th, 2019, more than 14 families joined the Burton Ave Planting Party! Neighbours of all ages connected over food, crafts, prizes and planting the Butterflyway garden located in the middle of our Cul-de-sac. The event was filled with joy and laughter as long time residences, families, visiting grand children and home bound individuals came out and befriended one another. The neighbours conversed in 3 languages (English, Cantonese and Mandarin) and the age range of our guests spanned from giggling 5 months old to cultured individuals in their 70’s! Native pollinator attracting plants were planted in our Butterflyway garden, a David Suzuki Foundation initiative, and stepping stones were created by the children to be placed in the garden. In addition, neighbours shared their contacts and signed up to water the garden throughout the summer months. Special thanks to Phoenix Perennials and Seafair Gourmet Meats, local businesses that each generously donated $25 gift certificates, which were drawn as prizes.
The event was also generously supported by Lucas and Hannah, the owners of the local grocer, LL Sunshine Farms, through their donations of watermelons and radishes. Winnie Hwo, the Senior Public Engagement Specialist with the David Suzuki Foundation, was able to arrange for 10 native perennial plants to be generously donated for the Butterflyway garden.
The Burton Ave Planting Party was well received and positively impacted our community. One neighbour said it was the first time in over 30 years he had lived on Burton Ave that the neighbourhood got together. Another family commented on how it was their first time meeting their neighbours since moving in 5 years ago. Another neighbour kept asking if the organizers needed anything and was enthusiastically offering everything from tools from his shed to furniture from his patio. The Burton Ave Planting Party helped to build a sense of belonging amongst the neighbours and fostered responsibility from individuals who signed up to take care of our Butterflyway garden throughout the summer and the years to come. Thank you to the Vancouver Foundation, Richmond Cares Richmond Gives and David Suzuki Foundation! Future ideas for our neighbourhood include an “Everybody’s Birthday” party, a “Welcome Back” party, and a “Pot Luck” party that will extend beyond the Burton Ave neighbourhood.

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