Photos: Richmond residents build commemorative garden for dogs, frontline workers

At the not-so-hidden corner of the South Dyke Trail and No. 2 Road in Steveston lies a small, yet vibrant garden filled with wild flowers and colourful stones.

Doug Mitchell, a Richmond resident, and his wife Pat Mitchell originally put the garden together around a large rock, which he dubbed as the “Dog Gone” rock.

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“I would often curse this rock … because it was in the way all the time,” said Mitchell.

“In this neighbourhood there are many residents with dogs and over the years they would pass on and I thought, maybe we can have a little memorial for our dogs and we’ll call it the Dog Gone Rock Garden.”

Along with neighbours Matthew Lusk and his wife Jamie Millar-Dixon, Mitchell first bought five quartz boulders to help decorate the garden a bit more.

Many individual painted rocks have been placed in the garden in memory of pets that has passed on as well as ones in tribute to frontline workers.

“We’re working with the Steveston rocks people to get the giant rock painted as a memorial for frontline workers as well,” said Doug.

“We want the line ‘To those who work at risk so that we could have a sheltering place’ or something similar to that painted on it as our nod to those folks.”

Some rocks that were in the garden said “in memory of Barclay and Cleo,” while others thanked healthcare heroes with positive words as well as Dr. Bonnie Henry’s famous saying “Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe.”

Mitchell told the Richmond News that the garden has also helped bring a bit more joy and positivity to the community.

The garden, he said, has come a long ways and many community members come by with their families to check it out. Some even used the garden as a way to teach their children how to identify colours.

“We hope to expand this garden along the South Dyke trail … maybe a wooden urban canal walkway with flowers and terraces on both sides, but that’s for the future,” said Mitchell.

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