Water! We Need Water!

Jul. 14, 2014

Back to Project:

Below is a proposal that was submitted to the City of Vancouver requesting access to some water so that the pathway can be watered.  Right now one person is using a wheel barrow and 4 watering cans to water two blocks of plants.  This takes over 4 hours twice a week during the spring and summer months.

Re:  A proposal for water access along the NE Kent Street pathway

AREA:  the pathway along NE Kent Avenue between Jellicoe and the entrance to Riverfront Park picnic area  - a distance of approximately 360 metres.

DESIGNATION:  cyclist/pedestrian


By 2011 the NE Kent pathway (although designated ‘pedestrian/cyclist’) had deteriorated to the width of a goat path, allowing only the passage of a single pedestrian. The hindrance was weeds – often waist high.   Although Parks occasionally came to mow down the weeds, this was infrequent (?once a year) .  Even then, the remaining clumps of roots rendered it a narrow passage and challenging for 2 people to walk abreast. And the weeds were back to calf-high within a few weeks.

Volunteers had begun to dig up the weeds on the pathway as early as 2010. By 2013, the work in the designated area (above) was complete, and included the four stop sign beds at the intersection of Jellicoe and Kent. That same year, we were the recipients of a Neighbourhood Matching Fund grant to aid us in our efforts.  We then extended our work as far as Elliot, clearing the pathway for a total of approximately 715 metres  – ie nearly half a mile – between Jellicoe and Elliot.

As the work progressed, flowers and bulbs were planted in the sections where there was a strip of dirt beside the fence.  The 4 stop-sign beds at Jellicoe/NE Kent were also planted. [For more detail on this project, see the Vancouver Courier article: http://www.vancourier.com/news/central-park-1.382363]


  • The restored pathway from Jellicoe to Elliot is now fully utilized by pedestrians and cyclists
  • The designated area (Jellicoe to Riverfront Park) is maintained to its original width by the constant weeding of volunteers.  
  • Volunteers have planted approximately 200 varieties of flowers in places where there is a dirt strip. There are bulbs for springtime appearance, and flower varieties include giant dahlias, which last until November. Ditto for stop-sign beds.
  • The area has become a go-to destination for walkers and photographers.


The problem is access to water,  specifically for the designated area from Jellicoe to the Riverfront Park entrance (a distance of 360 metres).  Originally a hose was extended across the street from Rivergate condo, but this has since been disallowed.  Watering is now done by carrying watering cans across the street. Given the immense area to be covered, this task has become exceedingly onerous, and not sustainable.


There is a fire hydrant midpoint along the pathway.

If the City/Parks Board could install a diversion/splitter pipe from the hydrant,  with a tap or plate, this would provide us with the necessary water.


1) the pathway

a)     Utilization: The restored pathway is now fully enjoyed by both pedestrians and cyclists

b)      Maintenance: Restoration has been maintained by the constant weeding of volunteers over a period of 4 years. NB:  This is *gravel pathway* weeding – not the flower beds.  

c)      Community spirit: This is a neighbourhood project.  Upwards of 50 people have been involved in the clearance.

2) the flowers:

The flowers planted are very much in tune with the 'greening of Vancouver' - i.e., by turning a weed-infested walkway into a walker's haven of fragrant blooms.

We  would very much appreciate the City/Parks looking at a possible solution to our problem of water access. We  believe that we are a "special case”.  Unlike other Green Streets gardeners who care for a traffic circle or bulge, we have taken on a huge area.  It has become very difficult to sustain the flower plantations by hand watering alone. 


We are hoping to hear a response - so we will see.

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    Image Description: 
    A small sampling of flowers along the pathway - these next set of images only represent less than 10 of the pathway. Which spans 2 city block.
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