The Hope Plant Swap travels around the community of Hope, B.C. It’s a grassroots community project designed to support local gardens, bring greenery into our homes, and encourage sustainable food growth.
It was inspired by an image on Facebook, shared from a different community, of a permeant location to swap plants. The Neighbourhood Small Grant allowed a small group of local community members to construct what became known as ‘The Plant Stand’. It was a movable set-up, equipped with wheels, so that it may travel from location to location, popping up at various community events. We partnered with a local business, Free Rein Associates, to provide a ‘home’ for The Plant Stand outside their doors when it wasn’t out in the community. The remainder of the grant allowed us to buy some starter plants to fill the stand with to ensure everyone was able to take a plant, whether or not they were in a position to leave one as well.
Residents were welcomed and encouraged to find The Plant Stand in order to pick up some herbs, vegetable plants, flowering plants, succulents, and more for their personal homes and gardens. While we expected more people to take a plant than they could leave, we were encouraged to see so many community members drop plants off for the stand as well. There were days where we would bring in The Plant Stand for the night and it was just as full as it was in the morning – only with brand new plants on it!
To help spread the word of where The Plant Stand would be and what green surprises folks might find, a Facebook group was started and quickly grew to 125 members. In that space, participants would be able to share gardening tips, new plants they dropped off, updates on the plants they picked up, and more.
The Plant Stand was welcomed at a number of community events, including the annual Summer Street Jam where our partners at Read Right Society helped people find the perfect plant to bring home. It also stopped at the local community garden for an event with the Hope and Area Transition Society and made an appearance at the Saturday Hope Mountain Market twice.
The community response to the Hope Plant Swap was overwhelming and positive. While The Plant Stand has ‘gone to bed’ for the winter, we are excited to bring it out for special events to surprise our community.