Central Park

STEPPING DOWN

Longtime community organizer and park board watchdog Brent Granby has resigned as chair of the Coalition of Progressive Electors park board caucus.

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In a letter addressed to the other chairs of COPE, Granby says he was compelled to resign after "serious reflection" following the civic political party's annual general meeting in February. Granby noted some of the highlights of his time as chair of the caucus, including producing the Legacy of the Park Board video series, developing a policy and platform for the 2011 COPE policy conference and helping former COPE commissioner Loretta Woodcock host the 2011 World Migratory Bird event at Queen Elizabeth Park.

Granby ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the park board last November. I was surprised he wasn't elected. Granby has put in the time and been involved with park board and community activities and events for years. I left a message for Granby, but he didn't get back to me before the Courier's press deadline.

BE NOT AFRAID

The city's community centres are hosting Neighbourhood Emergency Preparedness workshops beginning March 15 and continuing through June.

The city's Neighbourhood Emergency Program is also willing to offer special separate workshops for groups and associations, so long as at least 15 people attend. The workshops offered have topics on everything including Be Prepared Not Scared, Apartment Living, and Emergency Preparedness and Your Pet. Some workshops are offered in Cantonese.

Look under the Emergency Preparedness link at vancouver.ca or call 311 for dates, times and locations.

WORM TURNS

The city has a limited number of small, $25 worm compost bins designed for apartment dwellers and others with no backyard.

Each compost package comes with a bin, lid, tray, worms, bedding and instructions. But not just anyone can purchase said compost bins. In fact, residents must first complete a onehour workshop at the Compost Demonstration Garden before purchasing a unit.

So Vancouverites need to take a course before bringing worms home, but anyone can acquire a dog or a cat without so much as a thought.

For more information on worm composting and workshops visit vancouver.ca.

Garden growth

The Friends of the Bloedel group is finally inching its way to nailing down a joint operating agreement with VanDusen Botanical Garden Association. It's been almost two years in the making, but if all goes well, the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park will finally link with VanDusen. If the deal goes down within the next month or two as expected, VanDusen garden director Harry Jongerden will manage both facilities.

The Bloedel Conservatory was at risk of closing two years ago due to budget cuts at the park board, but the Friends of Bloedel formed to save it under the lead of John Coupar, whose father helped build the iconic dome. Since being elected to park board with the NPA in the November civic election, Coupar has stepped down as president. Vicky Earle is now president of the group.

sthomas@vancourier.com Twitter: @sthomas10

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