New name for some old roots

 

In the summer of 2023, Colony Farm Regional Park became ƛ̓éxətəm (tla-hut-um) Regional Park, and our garden became Coquitlam River Community Garden. It’s a new name, but member gardeners have been cultivating, enhancing and building community in the garden for over 25 years.

 

Timeline of the park

 

1904: the Government of BC purchased 1,000 acres of land on the western bank of the Coquitlam River as the site for a new hospital for the mentally ill.

Between 1905 and 1910: over 180 hectares of this low lying flood plain were cleared, ditched and drained. Dikes were constructed, drainage tiles were installed and state of-the-art farm buildings were constructed.

1910: Colony Farm officially opened.

By 1911: Colony Farm was thriving. Colony Farm won more than 20 prizes at the Dominion Fair in Regina – a tradition that would continue into the 1980s with multiple awards at the PNE’s annual agricultural competitions.

1918: the Farm was expanded with the purchase of the Wilson property on the east side of the Coquitlam River.

By the 1920s: Colony Farm was recognized as one of the finest farming operations in Western Canada. Crops in the fields included grain, pumpkin, turnips, celery, onions, beets, rhubarb, lettuce and corn.

1946: In December, a milkers who worked at Colony Farm set a series of arson fires. A number of buildings burned including the grand Clydesdale arena.

1983: Colony Farm ceased operations.

1989: the Burke Mountain Naturalists initiated a public campaign to have the land protected. The Colony Farm Land Use Plan agreement was signed outlining a portion of the new park to a community garden.

1996: Colony Farm was transferred by the Province to the GVRD (now called Metro Vancouver) to be managed as a regional park. Metro Vancouver manages the park in accordance with the Colony Farm Land Use Plan.


1998: Colony Farm Community Gardens Society formed; begins planning, developing and gardening on the 7 acre site detailed in the land use agreement.

2023: Colony Farm Community Gardens Society members vote unanimously to change the name of their garden to Coquitlam River Community Garden Society.