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Volunteering in the Briar Patch,
Downtown Eastside, Vancouver
In the Fall of 2019, at an evening meditation circle in West Vancouver, I met Tory, a shamanic drummer, who spoke of participating in the Indigenous pipeline protests. Her courage was palpable and fascinating.
At another circle, in early 2020, she told me that she’d been asked to manage the Briar Patch neighbouring the Budzey, women’s housing, in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and she was wondering if A Door To Everything Society would like to be involved. . .
I immediately said, “Yes” and since then we’ve been collaborating — mostly me watching Tory do amazing work — organizing this magical garden in the heart of Canada’s poorest postal code, Vancouver’s DTES.
The garden is the size of a small house lot and contains a few fruit trees, including peach, apple and fig, raised beds for twelve men and women to plant and tend, and an old outdoor pizza oven. In the past, the garden was used as a gathering place, for events from children’s birthday parties to pizza nights.
Tory sought and received a small donation to buy tools and other supplies for the gardeners and A Door To Everything Society has donated face masks.
This somewhat “secret garden” in the heart of Vancouver is pure magic. We’re in such gratitude to be involved with this project.