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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. It features three plots of native ferns, berries, and flowers. In August 2023, The Douglas Fir Teaching Garden was selected & received funding support from the David Suzuki Foundation to be designated 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 our 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


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 Knock and Matt Knock.

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


Doug Hollick

Doug Hollick 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 with landscaping and planning a garden at the east side of Kinross Creek Co-op.

After his untimely passing in 2006, local residents began to refer to the garden he created as “Doug’s Garden” in his honour.


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


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 joined together with other locals and formed 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, at the same time, celebrate the beautiful Douglas fir trees that grow within the garden (In 2021, the Douglas fir tree pictured here beside the bench 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.