Lynn Valley is blessed with hiking trails, canyon walks, and mountain adventures – but not everyone has the time, the energy, or the physical ability to take part in rugged recreational opportunities. So St. Clement’s Anglican Church set out to offer the community an inclusive natural retreat for rest and relaxation, close to but secluded from the hustle and bustle of the town centre.
The newly created Creekside Commons is having its grand opening on the afternoon of Sunday, September 17 and everyone is welcome to take part in the celebration. St. Clement’s (known for the giant anchor in its front yard!) is located at 3400 Institute Rd.
While a great deal of energy had been devoted to other parts of the church property over the years, including the addition of community garden boxes in the front of the church and certified wildlife on the banks of the salmon-bearing Coleman Creek at the back, the unused north side of the church had become overgrown with thorny brambles. Access was further impeded by a crumbling cinder-block wall and a decaying, ivy-covered stump.
A vision come true
When indoor gatherings were put on hold thanks to COVID-19, the church membership used the opportunity to create a vision for the overgrown land that would offer a welcome to passers-by as well as parishioners. The Anglican Foundation of Canada provided to help ensure Creekside Commons was inclusive from the ground up, including consultation with Indigenous elders on choosing native plants for a healing garden, installing crushed-limestone pathways for the highest standard of accessibility, and building raised community garden boxes for use by people in wheelchairs. Hundreds of volunteer hours were put in over the pandemic years, giving church members an uplifting goal to focus upon as well as an outdoor activity that people could do together safely.
A was painted on the church wall, offering community members a place to remember departed loved ones by having their names painted on a leaf on the vining branches. Seating provides rest for people walking the neighbourhood, picking up children at the nearby schools or Lynn Valley Park across the street, or just looking for a peaceful destination to sit and let their thoughts wander.
All welcome to gather
People will begin to gather for the grand opening of Creekside Commons at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 17, with a welcome and addresses beginning at 11:45. Music, children’s games, and food will follow. Please visit St. Clement’s for more info.