Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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Logan the goat chews up Renfrew Ravine invasive plants

Logan the goat

Logan chomping invasive plants in the Renfrew Ravine. Photos by Bryden Fergusson

BY JULIE CHENG

On a Sunday morning in August 2017 in the Renfrew Ravine, about 20 enthusiastic volunteers turned out — plus one goat.

They were all there to pull, dig or munch invasive Himalayan blackberry and morning glory as part of Evergreen’s Uncover Your Creeks—Renfrew Ravine program.

Still Moon Arts Society invited Logan the goat (with professional goat herder Natasha) as a pilot project to see how goats can help keep invasive plant species at bay in parks. One-year-old Logan was the star of the show. He was gentle with kids, worked hard and ate constantly.

Evergreen is always looking for more volunteers!

The next Uncover Your Creeks Renfrew Ravine event is:

Sunday, September 24, 2017
9 am to noon
Meet at 29th Avenue and Atlin (across from the 29th Avenue Skytrain station)
Rain or shine!

More info: www.evergreen.ca/whats-on/event/uncover-your-creeksrenfrew-ravine/

 

Robin's goat cards

Robin from Still Moon Arts Society kept the volunteers going with her delicious goat cookies and inspired us with her whimsical goat art cards. Watch for her at the 2017 Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival on Saturday, Sept. 30 for more goat cards.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Read On: Many reasons to love Renfrew-Collingwood

Renfrew Ravine Labyrinth

In Renfrew-Collingwood, there are many quiet areas, like the Renfrew Ravine labyrinth, where you can just sit and think. Photo by Julie Cheng

BY TONY WANLESS

I have been living in Renfrew-Collingwood for 13 years. Before that, I lived in more central locations such as the Cambie Street and downtown areas.

I have also lived in other cities in Canada, the United States and Europe.

R-C, as Renfrew-Collingwood is often called, seemed different at first. It was more Asian. Life seemed to move at a different rhythm than in other parts of Vancouver.

But now I would not live anywhere else.

Why? That is simple: It has everything I like.

This includes:

Many people. I like people – the way they look, the way they act, the way they talk, the way they eat. So I want to be around them most of the time. They make me feel like I belong to a group, or a big family.

Space. Although I like to be with people, there are times when I want to be alone with nature. I can do that in R-C. There are many quiet areas, like the Renfrew Ravine, where I can just sit and think.

Variety. Residents of Renfrew-Collingwood come from many different parts of the world and from many different cultures. This gives the neighbourhood an international feel that appeals to my wandering spirit and desire to learn. Every day, I can feel, for a few moments, like I am in China, Korea, Japan, Manila or Mexico.

Language. Renfrew-Collingwood is what is known as a “polyglot” neighbourhood. That means it is home for many different languages. I am originally Dutch, but my main language is English, and like many Canadians, I am also familiar with French, and less so, some knowledge of other European languages. Probably, because of that, I enjoy hearing and trying to learn other languages.

In Renfrew-Collingwood, I can pick up bits of Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean or Tagalog. Sometimes I hear other languages as well.

It is like travelling the world without leaving home.

Why do you love living in Renfrew-Collingwood? Please let us know. Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Let’s get outside and celebrate spring

BY JULIE CHENG

Reconciliation pole raising at UBC

There were many hands eager to help at the reconciliation pole raising at the University of B.C. on Apr. 1, 2017. A day of history. Photos by Penny Lim

The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping – spring is here at last! And that means stepping outdoors and getting together at the many events and activities happening around our neighbourhood. Here are a few ideas.

Join in a community celebration. Whether it’s a school carnival, a European festival or Collingwood Days, there are plenty of fun local celebrations for the family to enjoy. Come on out and meet your neighbours and discover local talents!

Explore by Skytrain. Spring is a great time to shop at local farmers’ markets, enjoy new food trucks or discover new neighbourhoods – it just takes a short hop by Skytrain to get there. For ideas check out the RCC News’ Skytrain Rambler series.

Show the Renfrew Ravine some love. Still Moon Arts Society runs workshops in the Renfrew Ravine and has an online guide to ravine self-walking tours. Evergreen runs its Uncover Your Creeks program in the Renfrew Ravine once a month.

Volunteer at a local garden. Dig into the opportunities at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House Rooftop Garden or the Norquay Learning Orchard, run by the local Food Security Institute.

Join a walking club. Drop by your local community centre or neighbourhood house to find a walking club or group day trip program that’ll take to you near and far.

Cranes Reifel Bird Sanctuary

The group taking the Killarney Community Centre trip to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary in late March saw gorgeous birds such as these sand cranes and mallard ducks.

Ducks Reifel Bird Sanctuary

Julie Cheng is the editor of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News. She has lived in Renfrew-Collingwood for 20 years and loves to get some vitamin D from the sun while gardening, cycling or walking outdoors.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Why I love Renfrew-Collingwood: Livable, accessible, friendly

A spring day on a quiet street in Renfrew-Collingwood, with Grouse Mountain and Seymour Mountain in the background. Photos by Julie Cheng

A spring day on a quiet street in Renfrew-Collingwood, with Grouse Mountain and Seymour Mountain in the background. Photos by Julie Cheng

BY JULIE CHENG

Renfrew-Collingwood is a special place where its warm and friendly residents of diverse cultures—pioneers and newcomers, young and old—live together in harmony and feel like they belong. The locals come out in droves to two annual festivals to celebrate this diversity: Collingwood Days and the Renfrew Ravine Harvest Moon Festival.

Still Creek runs through Renfrew Ravine.

Still Creek runs through the heart of Renfrew Ravine.

This historic residential neighbourhood is tucked away on the eastern edge of Vancouver on the border of Burnaby, B.C. The neighbourhood is home to hidden gems, from unexpected sweeping mountain views and the Renfrew Ravine (an urban forest with a salmon-bearing creek running through it) to Carleton School (one of the oldest schoolhouses in Vancouver) to many authentic, ethnic restaurants including Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, Filipino, Italian and Indian.

Residents travel by Skytrain and cycle paths alike in Renfrew-Collingwood.

Residents travel by Skytrain and cycle paths alike in Renfrew-Collingwood.

It’s always been an easy neighbourhood to get to. In the 1890s the interurban tram connected Renfrew-Collingwood to the rest of Vancouver. Today two Skytrain lines run through it, carrying residents to and from work in a matter of minutes, north to Port Moody (on the brand-new Evergreen line), east to Burnaby and Surrey and west to downtown Vancouver. Walking or cycling is a great way to discover the neighbourhood.

Why do you love Renfrew-Collingwood? Please let us know! Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca.

Julie Cheng has loved living in Renfrew-Collingwood for 20 years. She is the editor of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Buzzing into action: Youth invite bees to pollinate the ravine

BY CHITHA MANORANJAN

April 2016, Windermere youth will join beekeeper Brian Campbell to plant their precious seedlings in the Renfrew Ravine. Photo by Daisy Martin-Moore

April 2016, Windermere youth will join beekeeper Brian Campbell to plant their precious seedlings in the Renfrew Ravine. Photo by Daisy Martin-Moore

It takes just a short stroll along the trails of the Renfrew Ravine to realize that spring is here! Fresh leaves are unfurling like tiny flags hanging on once-bare branches and colourful blossoms burst into life celebrating the spring air. Now is the perfect time to dust off those gardening gloves and dig out your tools from the shed—the youth in Renfrew-Collingwood sure are!

The Grade 9 Leadership students at Windermere high school spent the last two months carefully tending to tiny little wildflower seedlings that will soon make the Renfrew Ravine their home. Still Moon Arts has been working with the class on stewardship and arts initiatives this year with their expanding Youth Engagement Project. Now, with the support of master beekeeper Brian Campbell, Still Moon Arts and the students are making the Pollinator Project their next big thing!

The keen teenagers spent a session with Campbell learning all about native bees and their importance to our ecosystem. The class got to look up close at old bee houses as they talked about suitable habitats for bees and got to look even closer at deceased bees as they continued finding out about the different types that exist in the Lower Mainland.

Bees are important for human survival and wildflower and pollinator gardens are spaces for them to thrive. Photo by Carmen Rosen

Bees are important for human survival and wildflower and pollinator gardens are spaces for them to thrive. Photo by Carmen Rosen

There’s a lot of buzz about pollinator gardens and bees—all with good reason. These creatures are intricately woven into the fabric of our survival but have seen an alarming decline in their population worldwide. Habitat loss and pesticide use are among the leading causes of their loss. But wildflower and pollinator gardens are spaces for bees to thrive. By creating more of these spaces, the positive impacts of a healthy bee population is transferred across the surrounding ecological system.

Come April, the youth will once again join Brian Campbell with their precious seedlings and plant them in the ravine. This is being done with the hopes of building a larger network of pollinator havens that will work alongside other stewardship initiatives to contribute to a healthier ravine ecosystem.

If you’re stinging with curiosity and want to find out more about pollinator gardens and bees, Brian Campbell will be speaking at the Still Moon Arts Society’s annual general meeting on Thursday, May 5, 2016. More information is available at stillmoon.org

Chitha Manoranjan is a resident of Renfrew-Collingwood and is the youth engagement coordinator at Still Moon Arts Society.

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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August 2014 issue of the RCC News is here

The new issue is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood!

August 2014 RCCNewsGet your August 2014 issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery store, library and community centre.

Or click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Expert canning tips for summer fruit
  • Squished skunk? Call 3-1-1
  • Tips to find work from the Vancouver Northeast WorkBC Centre
  • Italian Cultural Centre hosts Il Mercato, Vancouver’s first Farmer and Italian Night Market
  • Curbside Fresh Market comes to Collingwood
  • Summer movie nights in the park
  • Get ready for the annual Renfrew Ravine Harvest Moon Festival – lantern workshops
  • New on the CNH Rooftop Garden: Family drop-in gardening program

Do you have a local story to tell or an event to share? We’d love to hear about it! Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca.

The deadline for the September 2014 issue is August 10. From 300 to 400 words, with high resolution photos in a jpg at least 1 MB file size.


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Coming full circle at Nootka Elementary – Celebrate school’s 50th Golden Anniversary, Saturday, May 3, 10:00-3:00, 3375 Nootka St. & Renfrew

BY SUSAN WONG

Lord Beaconsfield Annex before it expanded and became Nootka Elementary

Lord Beaconsfield Annex before it expanded and became Nootka Elementary. Photos courtesy of Susan Wong

The Nootka Rose, a rare native plant, can be found at Renfrew-Collingwood’s Still Creek just a few steps from the busy bustling sounds of Grandview Highway. A few blocks south you will also find another treasure in our community, Nootka Elementary.

This year Nootka will celebrate its 50th golden anniversary. Nootka is a small but vibrant school located on Renfrew and 17th Avenue, just north of the soft trees and tranquil ravine of the Renfrew Park Community Centre. Originally known as Lord Beaconsfield Annex in 1959, the school expanded and became Nootka Elementary a few years later.

Today the school is comprised of almost 500 students. Nootka is unique in that it holds three programs in one school: Thrive for students with special needs, the classic and the fine arts, programs that have attracted many families in the immediate area and from all corners of the city.

Student from first graduation class gives back
With more than 50 years of history, Nootka’s evolution has truly come full circle. Former student Randy Schisler was one of the original students of the first grade 7 graduation class in 1966. Randy is not only a Nootka alumni but also currently a dedicated volunteer for the school’s One to One literacy program! Most Wednesday and Thursday mornings you will find Randy in the school’s library reading books with the students.

Glenn Dennis and Randy Schisler

Glenn Dennis and Randy Schisler, two students from the first graduating class of 1966, remember the good ol’ days at Nootka Elementary. Above them is the war canoe carved by Mr. Krisky.

Randy, currently retired, picked Nootka as his first choice to spend his invaluable volunteer hours. How lucky for those at Nootka to have such a wonderful and caring volunteer and with such a real connection to Nootka’s history and the Renfrew-Collingwood community where he grew up.

As Randy takes a stroll down the halls of his childhood school, he arrives at the entrance of the teachers’ staff room which was the original part of Lord Beaconsfield Annex. He looks at the staffroom door and chuckles, “You see this room, I will never go in, even now. It’s totally off limits and I don’t care how old I am!”

Lord Beaconsfield Annex originally only taught grades 1 to 3. The school only consisted of the east-facing side of the school that runs along Nootka. The north wing wasn’t added until 1963/64, which is when it became Nootka Elementary. During the years while the addition was being built, students had to temporarily branch off to other schools in the area such as Lord Beaconsfield, Renfrew and Graham Bruce. Not until approximately 1999 was the south wing finally completed.

One of the first graduating classes at Nootka, 1966. Second row from the bottom, fourth student from the left is Glenn Dennis.

One of the first graduating classes at Nootka, 1966. Second row from the bottom, fourth student from the left is Glenn Dennis.

School to new generations
And speaking of coming full circle, Glenn Dennis, also a former classmate of Randy’s, is now residing in Renfrew-Collingwood where his daughter Jessica is also student at Nootka! Like Randy, Glenn is a student from the graduating class of 1966. Glenn sentimentally points out how his first classroom was also the same room Jessica began her journey at Nootka. It is the furthest classroom at the south end of the hallway just down from the office.

Although a relatively “young” school Nootka is rich in history and culture. A visually enticing mural welcomes you as you approach the school’s front entrance. The multi-coloured mural was a collaboration of the Nootka’s Fine Arts students with Langara College.

Inside, located to the right of the main entrance are the original display cases, which proudly showcase many of the students’ wonderful creations. Above the display cases you will find the Nootka War Canoe originally hand carved in 1966 by Mr. Krisky, a parent of one of the students graduating in 1966. The graduating class presented it at the graduation ceremony as a gift to the school and to honour the area’s native heritage.

Grade 1 class, 1959. Front row centre is Randy Schisler.

Grade 1 class, 1959. Front row centre is Randy Schisler.

As Randy and Glenn go over the many old school photos of fellow classmates and adored teachers, a rush of memories come back and for a second it really felt like it was just yesterday. Nostalgia was high as names, dates and events are reminisced and maybe even missed. And as life should have it, there were probably ups and downs but it seems like only the good memories resonated in the two gentlemen minds. All in all, sounds like they had lots of fun.

And just like the good ol’ days, there’s always something fun and interesting happening at Nootka. The school’s events are beautifully coordinated and planned. Parents, teachers, students and even secondary school volunteers all collaborate together to ensure a wonderful and successful experience for all.

Last year Nootka held their first Earth Day, where the all the students spent a full day in workshops and activities learning about sustainability and Mother Earth. In the fall and winter, the Fine Arts students display their wonderful creations at the Children’s Art Exhibition held at the Vandusen Botanical Garden. And to welcome the Lunar New Year a Lion Dance Celebration is held annually to wish Nootka a happy and healthy new year!

So as the students, teachers, parent advisory committee and families of Nootka Elementary roll up their sleeves again to plan and carry out their Spring Carnival, we invite you, your friends and family members to come join us Saturday, May 3, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at our beloved school, 3375 Nootka Street near Renfrew Street. Come celebrate and commemorate our 50th Golden Anniversary together. It will no doubt be fun, eventful, lively, creative, rich in history and all about community.

Copyright (c) 2014 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News