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Volunteers Wanted – Final Touches for New PIPS-Designed Natural Playspace

Posted on: May 27th, 2021 by Admin

The final touches will be put on a new Natural Playspace at North Vancouver’s Ridgeway Elementary School, designed by Projects in Place Society (PIPS). With rising Covid-19 case numbers and new variants, this project was not able to rely on volunteers to prep and build the large elements of the project as has been the experience of previous PIPS build events. To help bring this project to life PIPS, Ridgeway Parent Advisory Council (PAC) and School District #44 have worked with Houston Landscapes and Natural Impressions Outdoor Play. 

Ridgeway Elementary located in the growing neighbourhood of Lynn Valley, North Vancouver.

Houston Landscapes has been an incredible partner in this project, contributing over 300 volunteer hours and the heavy equipment to prepare the site and build the concrete elements of the playground with care and precision. Natural Impressions Outdoor Play has executed and built all the log and rope elements of the project, including a teepee that honours the history and culture of the Skwxwú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. The final touches on the playground will be coordinated this Spring with a virtual unveiling to be streamed live for students and community partners.

In 2018, the Ridgeway PAC approached PIPS to design a new natural playspace and coordinate a volunteer flash-build. With tremendous input from families, stakeholders and the School District, as well as a substantial fundraising campaign and support from a long list of donors, the project has taken shape this year despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

The culmination of student, parent, and staff input and as designed by PIPs.

After three years of planning, collaboration, and fundraising, the PIPS- designed project blossomed into a multi-use outdoor environment, turning these dreams and designs into reality. On Saturday, May 29th 2021, volunteers are wanted to put the finishing touches on the playground. The event will follow Covid-19 safety protocols and will fo forward rain or shine! You can sign up for shifts here between 9:30am to 3pm.  

To learn more about the project information visit the Ridgeway Playground site here


City’s First Community-Sponsored Parklet Built

Posted on: August 7th, 2018 by Admin

The Parklet outside of Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House has been built! The summer weather definitely made itself felt over the course of our 3 day build from July 20 to July 22, 2018. Despite the heat, spirits were high, water and treats were flowing, and it was great to see this corner of East Vancouver get transformed.

A protective fence, pylons, and no-parking signs went up a few days before the build. This helped us keep the build crew safe and set aside some space for our deliveries. By Friday, gravel, soil, and sand, pavers and our beautiful processed old-age timber arrived and our volunteer crew quickly mobilized to move deliveries into place. They then got to work on removing topsoil from the boulevard and ever so gently relocating the Community Garden into pots. 

Volunteers sanding and staining reclaimed cedar wood. See more parklet pictures here.

Saturday morning was our busiest time with lots of hands eager to see the parklet take shape. The shade was with us as we dug out more of the boulevard and leveled it with a mechanical tamper. We stained and painted some more to make sure our wood could stand up against the West Coast climate and to add an accent colour to the parklet. The shade began to move, but we enjoyed the July sun with some tunes as we sanded our decking and assembled our beautiful table with prefabricated metal legs.

Sunday saw a lot of work coming together. We kept on digging (becoming experts now!) and made room for our sonotube footings. We lay down our pavers and even had to cut some down to fit exactly where we wanted them to! We hand-mixed our fast drying concrete (they call it Quikrete for a reason!) and placed our tables and benches into their footings. Like large lego pieces, we put together the painted pieces of the reclaimed wood to form the base of the parklet bench. We also made the planter portion of the parklet, putting down filter fabric, before piling on soil and planting new indigenous plants.

Interlocking precision CNC’d wood was a Lego lover’s dream come true! More parklet pictures here.

Work on the parklet continued for a few days as we put the finishing touches on the bench seating and installed an interactive chalkboard. The City came by to inspect our handiwork and allowed us to officially open the parklet to the public! A few curious neighbours had already started sitting and enjoying the space even with the fencing up…

Now that the fencing has finally been removed, the parklet is ready for its Grand Opening celebration! We would like to invite you for cake, lemonade and ribbon-cutting ceremony as we celebrate this new public space! Join us on Friday, August 24th from 1-2:30pm. To learn more about the parklet and how you can support the project, visit

The parklet would not have been possible without our Partners: Haeccity Studio Architecture, Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, Upcycle Vancouver, Vancouver Economic Commission, Neighbourhood Matching Fund, the City of Vancouver, VIVA Vancouver, Scandic Construction and Projects in Place Society. 

And our amazing parklet Supporters: Rize Alliance, Western Reclaimed Timber, Ba Le Bakery and Deli, NADA Grocery, Home Depot, Buy-Low Foods, Kingsgate Mall, Cedar Rim Nursery, Allium Landscapes, Headwater Management, BC Brick, Naturally Crafted, and Abbotsford Concrete.


Ambitious Outdoor Learning Park Comes to Fruition

Posted on: April 3rd, 2017 by Admin

Nestled on the corner of Inglewood Ave. and West 22nd Street in West Vancouver, a long-awaited  Outdoor Learning and Community Park has blossomed on the school grounds of Ecole Pauline Johnson Elementary. Over the past few years a dedicated group of parents and educators – the PJ Community Park Committee – have worked tirelessly to help make the dream of this community park come true. To help with these efforts, the committee enlisted Projects in Place Society to help re-imagine the area and King Kubota Services to help construct the parks foundation. Many other groups helped along the way including Atelier Anonymous, Order of Canada recipient Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, and the children and families of EPJ who provided ideas and dreams for what they hoped the park could become for their school and their community.

Volunteers planting the educational wetland

Over the weekend of September 23rd, 2016 volunteers came together to help turn these long-awaited dreams and designs into reality. Volunteers included local community members, parents, educators and members of participating organizations. Although at times the weather made for less than ideal working conditions, spirits and productivity remained high. Hard work and determination resulted in the completion of many projects, some of which we’ve recapped below:

  • To help improve slope stability and enhance species diversity Devils Club, Ferns and numerous native tree species were planted along and within the parks perimeter.
  • Among other features, a healing circle, water sluice, and outdoor classroom were designed and constructed to service the environment and improve outdoor learning efforts.
  • Two wetlands were constructed to help promote ecosystem growth and interactive learning opportunities.
  • Landscaping efforts were supported and sustained as trees were trimmed, flowers were planted and gardens were tended to.


“It is incredibly satisfying to see a project that has been researched, pursued, shaped and lobbied for over four years finally become a reality… and turn out so beautifully! Truly a product of partnerships and team-work, this park has been built because of people like you.

We celebrate objectives behind The PJ Outdoor Learning & Community Park – part wetland, part play park, part learning grounds, it’s meant for interconnection.   It is an exercise of re-imagining & re-designing land-conservation to embrace natural habitat, education, and honoring our sense of community & our First Nations. It is meant to maximize benefits to the whole community.”

– Kyra Smiljanic, Co-Chair of PJ Outdoor Learning and Community Park

To see all the project photos, visit our Facebook page.


Volunteers needed for Mount Pleasant Family Center build!

Posted on: September 20th, 2016 by Admin


Projects in Place has been working with the very dedicated folks at the Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society – to re-imagine their old playground that has definitely begun to show its age.

Join this Community Build Event to create a new space for fun, creativity and adventure play. You will be helping to build a space the entire community can enjoy. We need assistance building play berms, benches and planting habitat friendly gardens.  The build will be at the Mount Pleasant Family Center located at 2910 St George St.

This volunteer build event will be held on October 22nd and 23rd, but we also need helpers for the build preparation day on October 21st. Come help us create an inspiring new playground in just two days!

The need for such early child development and parenting centres has been widely documented in recent years; there is clear evidence that positive intervention at this early age leads to lifelong success.

The Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society is a respected not-for- profit organization celebrating 40 years of service this year! Their facility welcomes hundred of children per week, from birth to 5 years. It is an important resource where children and their families can drop-in free of charge to enjoy a range of family and child-focused programs in a safe, supervised setting. For their parents it is a chance to connect with others and to learn new skills while making connections with other families in their community.

For more information on the Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society, click here.

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Call for Volunteers – Ecole Pauline Johnson – PJ Outdoor Learning and Community Park

Posted on: August 29th, 2016 by Alex

Over the last 2 years, Projects in Place has been working with a very dedicated group of parents and educators – the PJ Community Park committee – to re-imagine the grounds at Ecole Pauline Johnson into an all-inclusive Community Park. King Kubota Services has constructed the foundation of the Park over the summer in preparation for our Fall build. Come be a part of the Community Build Event and help us plant, from the wetland to the community garden. We need assistance with building a bird sanctuary, water sluice and fun elements to finish the Park.

We are finishing off this great community event on Sunday @ 5pm with a Community BBQ.

Come join the fun!

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PJ Outdoor Learning & Community Park: An outdoor community hub with a focus on nature, education and environmental stewardship, at Ecole Pauline Johnson, West Vancouver, BC. 1150 22nd St, West Vancouver, BC V7V 4C4

Volunteers of all skill levels are welcome.

Note that we will proceed with the builds rain or shine (there will be protective cover on site) and that participants in the build need to be at least 18 years of age. Childminding will be provided with activities.

Please sign up here. Further details to come!

Volunteers Needed for June Playground Build!

Posted on: May 6th, 2016 by Alex

It’s starting to feel like summer and soon it will be time to get your hands dirty!

Bayshore Gardens 4

Projects in Place (PIPS) and the Vancouver Society of Children’s Centres (VSOCC) have once again teamed up to upgrade one of their children’s playgrounds, to provide more natural play environments, develop gardens for the children to grow food to be used in their daily meals, and implement a recycling and composting program.

Our next project build event will be held at the Bayshore Gardens Children’s Centre, on the weekend of June 17/18/19, and you’re invited to help us build something special!! Bayshore Gardens Children’s Centre is located in Coal Harbour (200-581 Cardero Street), and helps make our downtown more family-friendly for its residents and provide much needed childcare services for working parents.

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Friday, June 17th is delivery day, where we will be unloading supplies and setting up for the weekend build. We will need a few helping hands Friday afternoon.

Saturday, June 18th is Build Day #1, where we will be building planters, decks, moveable activity boxes and a number of other play features. We will need a bunch of volunteers to help us build these, and a few team leaders with previous carpentry experience will be helpful.

Sunday June 19th is Build Day #2, where we will continue Saturday’s projects, painting and planting to finish any last remaining items and making sure the children’s centre is ready for the kids on Monday morning!

Note that we will proceed with the builds rain or shine (there will be protective cover on site) and that participants need to be at least 18 years of age.

Please come and join us.  A good build event is the perfect way to kick start the summer season!!

Please sign-up here:

PIPS is looking for Project Designers and Coordinators

Posted on: April 23rd, 2016 by Alex

Project Designers and Coordinators Wanted

Projects in Place Society (PIPS) is looking for enthusiastic Project Designers and Coordinators to help design, manage and lead our volunteer build events in 2016 and beyond. We are looking for positive, energetic, practical, and open-minded people who are able to work both independently and collaboratively as projects dictate.  These roles will be filled by people interested in doing contract work and looking for a unique way to supplement their income through a stipend. Our current projects are mostly in the area of landscape design, but we are looking for people with a variety of backgrounds.

For the complete posting, including requirements and abilities for each role, please click here: PIPS Designer & Coordinator Posting

These positions will be flexible, contract-based positions on an on-going, as-needed basis. The amount of hours worked will be variable, and these roles are both eligible for PIPS Project stipends, which range depending on project complexity. These positions will report to the PIPS Board and PIPS Project Clients.

TO APPLY – Please send your CV along with1-page Expression of Interest by email to

DEADLINE – We will be looking to fill a number of positions over the next few months, but the first ones will be filled by the end of April. Apply today!


Projects in Place is Growing!!

Posted on: October 15th, 2015 by Alex

We’re looking for some volunteers to join our committees and project teams!

To support our board and current project teams, Projects In Place is looking for dedicated volunteers to join our committees and project teams. Each of these volunteer roles will work closely with a director on the PIPS board and require a commitment of around 4-8 hours per month for a 6 month term.

We are currently looking for people with experience in the areas of:

  • Human Resources
  • Volunteer Relations
  • Fundraising
  • Events
  • Finance
  • Communications
  • Project Management
  • Design

To apply, please send the following items to

  • Expression of interest: 1/2 page (attachment or email) stating your area of interest(s) and why you would be a good fit.
  • CV: be sure to include volunteer work and technical skills that would support the position.

Applications are due by October 31st, 2015.

If you’d like to find out more about becoming more involved with Projects in Place, please come out to our volunteer playground build this weekend (October 17/18) at Dorothy Lam Children’s Centre in Yaletown and speak to one of our Board members. You can sign up here (we could still use a few build volunteers too):


Dorothy Lam Build Confirmed for Weekend of Oct 16/17/18!

Posted on: September 10th, 2015 by Alex

This year’s Projects In Place build at Dorothy Lam Children’s centre has been rescheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 16, 17 and 18th, 2015, and we’re looking for volunteers to help us build something special!

Projects in Place (PIPS) and the Vancouver Society of Children’s Centres (VSOCC) are partnering again to upgrade a number of VSOCC’s children’s playgrounds to provide more natural environments; develop gardens for the children to grow food to be used in their daily meals; and implement a recycling and composting program.

Dorothy Lam Children’s Centre is located next to the much loved David Lam Park and RoundHouse Community Centre, and helps make our downtown more family-friendly for its residents and provide much needed childcare services for families. (more…)

A little too much Jazz! Dorothy Lam Build re-scheduled for October

Posted on: June 22nd, 2015 by Alex

Hi Everyone,

Due to the Vancouver Jazz Festival and the large public performances happening at David Lam Park at the same time as our build this coming weekend, the June 26-28 Dorothy Lam Build needs to be re-scheduled. After extensive discussions with the organizing team over the weekend, we realize that the impacts from the Festival would be significant and detrimental to the build so we have decided to reschedule it for October, the next available spot in the PIPS build schedule.

PIPS and VSOCC want to thank you for your support and hope you’ll join us in October for this event.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Wishing you a safe and happy Summer!


Projects in Place Society and Vancouver Society of Children’s Centres.