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There are new things happening in the gardens at St. John’s United Church in May and June.  Through a grant from the Pacific Mountain Regional Council of the United Church, St. John’s has received funding to establish a forest garden in the lower grounds, across from the Music Makers Hall, along Simpkins Road. 

The goal of the project is to create a native plant garden to raise awareness of the forest ecosystem that was once abundant on the Coast.  Three workshops are planned to encourage participants to explore reconciliation with the land and forest.

Under the direction of horticultural therapist Cheney Creamer, long time members of St. John’s, Sue Lamb and Mary Quarry have been busy preparing the space for planting.  Cheney has extensive experience developing therapeutic gardening projects which combine social, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing with hands-on learning.
Through attention to the guiding practices of awareness, attention, immersion and integration, participants will explore how reciprocal relationships with the forest and the land, nurture personal growth.

Three, 90-minute workshops will be offered at St. John’s.  All events are family friendly and will include snacks and hands on experience.  Each workshop will have a slightly different focus. 

  • “Springing to Life” on Sunday, May 5, from 12:30 until 2 p.m. will focus on cultivating well-being and connection with nature and each other as we work with the soil and begin planting.
  • “Planting a Forest Garden” on Sunday, May 26 from 12:30 until 2 p.m. will use native ground cover to focus on creating shelter, warmth and nourishment for pollinators.
  • “Tending a Forest Garden” on Saturday, June 8 from 10:30 a.m. until noon will focus on the four guiding practices of therapeutic gardening: awareness, attention, immersion and integration. We will discover how to cultivate a reciprocal relationship with the forest garden and unlock the profound benefits it offers.

We invite everyone to the workshops - bring your family, friends, and neighbours! There is no fee but donations are gratefully accepted to further the work of St. John’s.

If you or your group or organization would like to attend our workshops or get involved in this or future forest garden activities, please call 604-885- 9822 or email the church office at