Best of Richmond 2010

I’ve just sent my online Best of Richmond ballot. Mostly that had nothing to do with the Garden City Lands, but the lands did have their place.

For best decision made by Richmond Council, is it the Garden City Lands purchase?  Well, the purchase cost more than I’d prefer, but in perspective it’s by far the least expensive way we’ll ever find to obtain the required amount of green space. The requirements were known, since we have a green space standard (7.66 acres per thousand citizens) and projected populations for future dates. Now the means to meet the requirement is in place. The slick new strategems to get the property out of the ALR could make the purchase a worse decision, but that’s another matter. For the best recent decision, naturally I hung onto my reservations, but I still voted for the Garden City Lands purchase.

For best endangered piece of Richmond history, I thought the lands were worth a look. Besides being endangered, they’re historical:

  • As the most visible crown bog, they illustrate  natural history, how Lulu Island came to be.
  • With their native plants, especially the bog berries, that have somehow survived, the lands are an outdoor museum of early Lulu Island food production.
  • They are an excellent example and symbol of the Agricultural Land Reserve and the determination of BC residents, especially Richmond residents, to retain and strengthen that visionary world-leading form of food security.
  • The Garden City Lands also have a history as the Dominion Rifle Range, a site for anti-aircraft guns in World War II, and a Coast Guard communication site.

When one votes for best-dressed politician, the name that might spring to mind last is Coun. Harold Steves. But a good outfit is one that fits the setting and that fits together. How could one beat what Harold’s modeling (above left) for an eco-tour of the Garden City Lands? To my surprise and probably his if he finds out, Harold Steves got a vote.


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