Bravo to “Stop the swap!”

Carlsons of Summerland

Background: The Garden City Conservation Society has its roots in a coalition of groups and citizens who came together to save a priceless legacy of agricultural land in the city centre of Richmond, B.C. We have always welcomed support from everywhere where people share our values, and we’ve given support everywhere too, sometimes with a lot of our time. Often that happens quietly because we’re sharing strategic information and proven tactics.

The issue: In this article, we’re acting publicly because we want to facilitate broad support for a group in Summerland who are standing up for good farmland that their own council is trying to slip out of the ALR. I’m very impressed by how clearly the ALR supporters there have laid out the issue, as you’ll see on their site, Save Summerland’s Agricultural Land. The campaign slogan is “Stop the Swap!” As you’ll probably agree, those three little words say it all.

One action: There’s a petition you can sign, and I’m sure that the capable group will find ways to use it. For a start, they need encouragement—an infusion of energy for the challenge. It’s always encouraging to get support from around British Columbia and beyond. I know that from our Garden City experience. As it happens, our Friends of Garden City include at least one from Summerland, a now-retired orchardist who has sent encouragement and donations a number of times in the past six years.

If you just want to go straight to the petition, click here.

The campaigner: After I’d signed the petition and added a comment, I got an appreciative email message (presumably automated) from Erin Carlson. Wondering who she is, I found that she’s not only the campaign leader but also the manager of the family farm while her father takes on another agricultural business challenge. Not bad for a young person who finished her agriculture degree only two or three years ago! A little googling yielded the above photo of the Carlson family, Summerland orchardists. The fair-haired woman on the left is Erin.

The group behind the group: The petition is through, “people powered change.”



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    Erin Carlson and the rest of the Stop the Swap team organized a great rally with over 300 people turning out today, February 10, in Summerland’s Memorial Park. A few of them also attended the Save the ALR rally at the BC Legislature. You can find photos on their website: and Facebook page

    Here are links to some of the press coverage.

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    kewljim Says:

    Thanks, David! Now to continue the success at Summerland council tonight!

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