Monthly Archives: March 2012

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Mole Hill Becomes a Neighbourhood Champion of the West End Planning Process

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The City is getting ready to launch a 18-21 month community planning process for the West End in mid-April. As part of this process, they are starting to work with leaders in the West End to establish a Neighbourhood Champions Network (NCN). This Network will assist with community outreach around the community plan with direct action on their own to ensure the involvement of diverse groups in the process. The NCN creates an open and flexible opportunity for interested citizens to take a part in supporting and improving the engagement process during the West End Community Plan development.

The Network will help City staff:
* identify popular places, ideal dates/times, and even engagement tactics that are likely to be effective in the neighbourhood, especially for hard to reach groups
* offer outreach vehicles (newsletters, contacts list, etc.) to help spread the word about engagement opportunities
* actively encourage community networks to take part in public engagement opportunities
* provide support for people to take part, anything from giving someone a ride to an event to showing someone how to submit an online survey or offering translation services
* take a leadership role by actively participating in public engagement opportunities, and
* help identify and fill gaps in representation.

If you would like to join Mole Hill in any of these activities, please contact Margot Beauchamp, Executive Director

For more information about the West End Community Plan check here:
The Terms of Reference for the West End Plan can be found here:

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Mole Hill Produce Box Program Takes Off!

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The Mole Hill Produce Box Program is off the ground and running! Every 2 weeks, 17 or more folks and families pay $15 each for their share of a wholesale delivery. Distribution takes place on a Saturday with volunteers pitching in to ensure more-or-less even dispersal of green beans, bananas and fresh asparagus, among others. Here are some questions and answers about the program.

 Q. Do I get to choose what I get?

A. Nope – the program is organized by a tenant volunteer so the aim is for it to take as few hours as possible to run. The goal is local, seasonal, variety and some organic if possible. Requests are always welcome although “no onions” is running pretty evenly with “more onions” at the moment.

Q. Do I save money from the store?

A. Absolutely. The cost we pay is wholesale because we’re buying in bulk. Prices vary depending on what we get but last distribution averaged out to 74 cents a pound — not that impressive for yams, but pretty good for crimini mushrooms and mangoes.

Q. I want to join, but I’m single and it’s too costly/too much fruit and veggie for me.

A. Join with a friend and split a box. As long as one of you officially signs up and pays, you can subdivide however you want.

Q. How do I find out about the distribution?

A. Send an email to to join the e-list, and then arrange to pay $15 by the Friday before distribution, with another $15 when you get your first box.

Q. Wait – that’s paying twice! How come?

A. When you pay “last month’s rent” in advance that means the next shipment can be ordered without having to run around and collect individual payments. If you ever decide to leave the club, your spare $15 will be reimbursed.

 Q. What are future plans for the program?

A. We have lots of ideas – a neighbourhood small grant to pay the coordinator, splitting off a free box for a needy family and/or individual(s) on the Hill, direct setup with a farmer instead of a wholesaler so we can eliminate the middleman and support BC farms, or liaising with a farmer’s market vendor so we can enjoy wholesale pricing. Whether and when we can do them depends on how smoothly the basic program runs. Even if we never do anything else, though, we’re already building community, food self-sufficiency and reducing packaging and emissions, as well as eating healthier and whittling our grocery bills.

Why not join us?

Carellin Brooks at (604) 708-0998