I first met Margaret Haga when I was working at City Farmer. She had taken over the management of the Maple Street Garden from Barb Atkins, the energetic and dedicated woman who started the community garden. The Maple garden was the first community garden to pop up on the east side of Maple Street at 6th Avenue, starting a chain reaction of gardens all along the railway tracks. Although, on the west side of Maple, the Kitsilano Community Garden had been thriving for some time. The Maple Garden stored their tools at our City Farmer demonstration garden which was just next door and attached to what was then called the SPEC (Society Promoting Environmental Conservation) building, as it housed the environmental group (and many others). We made some space for them under the back steps. So chatting with Marg was an almost daily happening. She was always so cheerful, quick to laugh and she loved to compare gardening tips. She was also happy to take any of our hand-me-downs: old compost bins, wood, tools, etc. and would give them new life in their garden.
All you had to do was walk by the Maple Street garden, which so many people and dogs do, to realize how well managed it was. It’s not only beautiful, but always neat and tidy. Marg’s work parties were always well attended. Members didn’t often leave the garden either; there was always a long waiting list. All signs of how much Marg was loved and appreciated.
I hadn’t seen Marg for years until I joined the Kitsilano Community Garden a few years ago. Marg was at the first annual general meeting I attended. It turns out she was a member of the Kits Garden as well as the magnificent manager of the Maples. It was lovely to reconnect with her, chatting in this new and cherished garden space.
I was very sad to hear that Marg passed away on January 16th. Her memorial is today from 3 to 5 at the Vancouver Lawn and Tennis Club, 1630 W.15th Ave (Fir and 16th). Thank you to Garden Flower for this picture. You can see more pictures of Marg on the Kitsilano Community Garden blog too. We’ll miss you Marg.