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'Bee wing' vandalized at Cambie secondary

A sign was stolen from a Richmond high school garden before it was vandalized.

A new pollinator garden created by Cambie secondary students survived the heat dome this summer only to be decimated recently by vandals.

The “Bee Wing” – close to the school’s “B Wing” – was turned into an oasis for bees and other pollinators this spring, with students watering and tending the garden even over their summer break.

The “Ecosavers” of Cambie secondary, the school’s environmental team, discovered the vandalism one recent morning when they arrived to tend their garden in the long-neglected area of the school grounds.

“Plantings were uprooted, flowers stomped and ground by heels into the soil, mammoth sunflowers – just about to bloom – torn from the ground, even a $200 Japanese White Pine was snapped off at the base…it was just devastating to see the extent of the damage,” explained Terry Foster, one of the teacher-sponsors of the Ecosavers’ garden initiative. “Echinacea flowers that were buzzing with bees just the day before…ripped out by their roots. Yup – I had a good cry that morning!”

The garden’s carved wooden sign had also been stolen earlier in the week. School staff don't know if the two incidents are related.

However, they are concerned about recent media reports about a TikTok challenge urging people to post videos of vandalism.

Recently, bee boxes at Paulik Park have been vandalized as well.

Ecosaver member Radha Tanwar said the garden has quickly become a part of the fabric of the larger community.  

“Plants like these create a wonderful and special community that warms your heart even on bad days,” she said. “This special feeling should be cherished by everyone. I loved that our school was a place to find this feeling. It is demoralizing to know that not everyone sees it this way and that even when you have the utmost belief it will last, it doesn’t.”

The Cambie students were inspired to create the garden in an area of the city that has a lot of warehouses and business parks.

They are currently working on restoring the “Bee Wing Garden” and a new sign is being made by teacher Ivan Podmoroff.

“Hope is not lost,” said Ecosaver member Jeannie Huang.