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Douglas Fir Teaching Garden


The Douglas Fir Teaching Garden is located just east of Kinross Creek Housing Co-op (3530 Swansacre), along the Red Alder Trail in South Vancouver on the traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. The garden features three plots of native ferns, berries, and flowers. The garden was originally planted in October 2021, and in August 2023, it was designated by the David Suzuki Foundation as a Healing Forest

The teaching garden was planted in Oct 2021, thanks to funding from Park People, Neighbourhood Small Grants, Kinross Creek Co-op, and Free the Fern’s Art for Plants Fundraiser.

Free the Fern Community Planting Event, Oct 24 2021

Plants in the Garden


  • baldhip rose
  • Douglas aster
  • false Solomon’s seal
  • frinegecup
  • goatsbeard
  • inside out flower
  • Pacific bleeding heart
  • red columbine


  • black huckleberry
  • dull Oregon grape
  • evergreen huckleberry
  • gooseberry
  • red huckleberry
  • salal
  • tall Oregon grape
  • woodland strawberry


  • bracken fern
  • deer fern
  • lady fern
  • Northern maidenhair fern
  • oak fern
  • spiny wood fern
  • sword fern


  • 23 Douglas fir
  • 6 Big leaf maple
  • 3 Western red cedar
  • 2 Paper birch
  • 2 Western yew
  • 2 Scouler’s willow
  • 1 Black cottonwood
  • 1 Japanese maple
  • and more!


To create the main Douglas Fir Teaching Garden sign we repurposed an old, abandoned pergola. Local artist, Kiki Nombrado, donated her time to create the lettering on the sign using duct tape mounted on donated corrugated plastic & plywood.

Signage was also created for the three garden plots using donated cedar wood. Carving and woodburning was done by volunteers, Erin and Matt Knock.

Thanks to the donated materials and artist hours, the total cost for all garden signage came to only $50.


Doug Hollick

The originally landscaping of the garden plots was done by Doug Hollick, who lived in Kinross Creek Co-op from 1984-2006. He had a passion for gardening. With the help of his physical assistant, Jules, Doug helped plan and move rocks to create garden plots on the east side of Kinross Creek Co-op.

Sadly, Doug passed away in 2006. Local residents began to refer to the garden he had landscaped as “Doug’s Garden” in his honour.


Unfortunately, in the 15 years after Doug’s passing, the garden became neglected and invasive plants, such as English ivy, Italian arum, and common periwinkle, began moving and taking over.


On January 15 2021, after a windstorm, local resident, Grace Nombrado, was outside raking up fallen branches when she looked around and noticed how many invasive plants had taken over Doug’s garden. She became determined to take them out. Grace soon joined together with other locals and formed the group Free the Fern.


After 9 months of hard work, Doug’s garden was cleared of all invasive plants by October 2021. Kinross Creek Co-op donated a truck of soil to help remediate the garden and 224 native plants were delivered from Nats Nursery.


On October 24, 2023, 38 eager volunteers came out to our Free the Fern Community Planting Event.


The name “Douglas Fir Teaching Garden” was chosen to honour the legacy of Doug Hollick and to celebrate the beautiful 23 Douglas fir trees that grow within the garden (In 2021, the Douglas fir tree pictured to the left was estimated to be 162 years old).

Free the Fern Stewardship Society welcomes young and old to come for a walk through the Douglas Fir Teaching garden. Plants are labeled with their English and Latin names. Come, have a seat and enjoy the beautiful native plants.

To see more photos of our Douglas Fir Teaching Garden, check out our Free the Fern Instagram.