East Vancouver residents in 'guerrilla gardening' campaign
Frustrated Vancouver residents have spent the weekend "guerrilla gardening" after repeated calls to the city to clean up the area's green spaces have fallen on deaf ears.
"This isn't a high traffic area for people coming into the city," says Sharole Tylor, who lives near the 4,300-block of Fraser Street.
On Saturday, Tylor was joined by other residents of the East Vancouver neighbourhood to dig up weeds, pick up garbage, and cut back overgrown grasses.
"It's a little out of the way for [Mayor Gregor] Robertson. He never sees this. So it is not going to affect him, but it affects the people in the neighbourhood," said Tylor.
At nearby Grays Park, the overgrowth has become a safety issue, she said.
"People don't feel safe sitting in the gazebo areas anymore. Because of the overgrowth, people can't see you anymore," she added.
Tylor says she has had no response from City Hall despite repeated calls.
A park board official says smaller parks like Grays get looked at every 10 days, unlike bigger parks like Queen Elizabeth, which get daily maintenance.
"Our high sort of destination parks — rose gardens, display gardens, things like that — there is a high standard of maintenance still being applied to those areas," said Aaron Jasper, vice-chair of the Vancouver Park Board.
Other areas are not a high priority for regular maintenance, he added.
"A few years ago, the park board did make an intentional policy change to allow certain areas within parks to become more naturalized," he said.
Residents who call 3-1-1 more often about trash and weeds are more likely to get the area cleaned up, Jasper said.
With files from the CBC's Richard Zussman