The Garden City Lands, Richmond, British Columbia, prime farmland in the heart of a city. Michael Wolfe photo.

The Garden City Lands are prime farmland and a natural central park, the heart of Richmond, BC.

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Garden City Conservation Society, Richmond, B.C., Canada

Permaculture tour of the Garden City Lands, Richmond, B.C., on June 12, 2011, led by Michael Wolfe and Bruno Verner.
The photo shows an eco-tour of the Garden City Lands. Most recent tour: Sep. 25, 2016. Visit our Eco-Tours page for information. The Garden City Lands are mapped with details here.

Welcome to our home! We are Garden City Conservation, and we were born here in Richmond, BC, Canada, as the Garden City Lands Coalition. Our 2016 Annual Gathering was in June. Sharon MacGougan is president.

The 2017 Annual Gathering of the Garden City Conservation Society is on Wednesday, June 21. Details here.

This website is largely a site that reflects the history of the Garden City Lands as an issue.  Please visit the Richmond's Garden City Conservation blog for current insights.

Recently, Garden City Conservation sponsored an online Thank You card for Agricultural Land Commission chair Richard Bullock and his team. He has done a great job for the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) in the face of political interference. If you wish, you can still click on Thank You, Richard Bullock and add your name.

You may have heard us encouraging people to ¡§help steward our PARC in the ALR for community wellness.¡¨ That¡¦s discussed here on the Future page and on the Garden City Conservation blog in ¡§Listening to the Lands = PARC.¡¨

At the moment, we are renewing our focus on our traditional goal: To keep the Garden City lands green in the Agricultural Land Reserve and to steward their natural legacy for agricultural, ecological and open-land park uses for community wellness.

We a community of people who cooperate toward that goal and to all Garden City conservation goals (as resources permit) as a public service for the people of Richmond, as well as the region, the province, and the world.

The Garden City Lands is 136 acres of greenspace in the city centre that was almost torn up for high-density development but is now Richmond-owned parkland.

Since we are an incorporated society, our full name is Garden City Conservation Society. You can learn more about us on our About Us page.


This website is largely a site that reflects the history of the Garden City Lands as an issue.  Please visit the Richmond's Garden City Conservation blog for current in-depth insights.


We are led by the board of directors of the Garden City Conservation Society. The society is simple to join if you are committed to the purposes.

If you support our goal, you may wish to receive the Garden City News, a brief newsletter emailed to the Friends of Garden City about twice a month. To subscribe, simply send this subscribe email.

The "Why keep the lands green in the ALR?" PDF answers a key question.

Michael Wolfe, Carol Day, and Chak Au with an award plaque from IESCO.

Above, Chak Au shows the IESCO award for International Eco-Safety Demonstrative City to Michael Wolfe and Carol Day. Richmond was one of just three cities in the world to be honoured with this award. Chak gave a lot of credit for the award to the Garden City Lands Coalition Society, in which Michael and Carol had leadership roles. Richmond School District won a similar award, and Chak brought both plaques back from the recent World Eco-Safety Assembly in Phonm Penh, Cambodia. The plaques are large (16" X 24") and solidly heavy, and someone had asked how he ever got them back. He said "I just opened my suitcase and threw out all my clothes and. . . ." On a happy occasion like this one, a little joke is worth a good laugh. For the whole story, see this blog post.

A few examples of our activities:

  • We have had success in getting the Garden City Lands designated appropriately enough in the Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy after the Lands started out being called "General Urban," which means residential. There are  Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy posts on our blog.
  • In 2010, the coalition presented Strengthen and improve the ALR together to the Agricultural Land Commission of British Columbia. It is subtitled Input for ALC Chair Richard Bullock for the 2010 ALR Review from the Garden City Lands Coalition Society, Richmond, BC. It is expected that the ALR Review will be a milestone in wise and effective conservation of BC¡¦s scarce agricultural land. The coalition has much to offer, and we have reasonable grounds for optimism that all input is being heeded.
  • Besides free eco-tours of the Garden City Lands, we have free agri-tours such as the tour of Cherry Lane Farm, where visitors could see urban farming, organic farming practices, and more diversity in action.

Garden City Lands Coalition at King George Park - display created by Carol Day. Daniel Leung photo.

The Garden City Lands is active at local events like this one at King George Park.

Our Garden City Lands - brief background

  • The 2015 Annual Gathering was on Wednesday, June 17. Details here. It was a big success.
  • BC's Agricultural Land Commission was asked to exclude the Garden City Lands, 140 acres of prime farmland in Richmond City Centre from the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) so that over half the property could become high density development.
  • Good alternatives had been proposed to keep the Lands as green open space in the ALR. The massive public input, evident in the ALC's Garden City Lands section, overwhelmingly opposed the application.
  • The federal Minister of Agriculture indicated in a letter to the Garden City Lands Coalition that his department will consider using the lands for a program need if they become available.
  • A key agreement expired on Dec. 31, 2008, after Richmond council refused (by a 6-3 vote) to take drastic means to extend it.
  • On Feb. 12, 2009, the Garden City Lands panel of B.C.'s Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) REJECTED the application to remove the Lands from the ALR. Here's what we told the commission in a thorough analysis, and here's the commission's decision.
  • Under the basic Garden City Lands memorandum of agreement (MOU), which has no expiry date, the City of Richmond renegotiated with Canada Lands Company and the Musqueam Indian Band to determine the future of the Lands. There could also have been occasion for the federal government to become involved.
  • Along with unified strategic action by Richmond council, community action on this issue remains very important. Visit the Action page.
  •  Many defenders of the Garden City Lands wrote to Canada Lands Company, and the Garden City Lands Coalition couriered a large (about two hundred pages), organized (in a binder with seventeen tabbed dividers), and highly informed presentation. It is also available here on this website. It is called Save Garden City: An urgent request to Canada Lands Company. The value of that work may have been lost because of the city step listed next.

  • The City of Richmond purchased the Garden City Land on March 31, 2010. The Musqueam Indian Band sued the City of Richmond, making various claims on the premise that it sold its interest to the city under duress, in a writ dated April 9, 2010.

  • __________

Reminder: Visit the Richmond's Garden City Conservation blog for other current in-depth insights.

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