Welcome to the Babylon Gardens Challenge - a contest to promote
songbird-friendly habitat in urban centres. In partnership with the Institute
of Urban Ecology at Douglas College and the Roundhouse Arts & Community Centre, SongBird offered
workshops on urban habitat design for small spaces, and annually in the
Babylon Challenge, awarded prizes for the best new and previously
existing songbird-friendly balcony and rooftop habitat in Vancouver.
THE CHALLENGE (from the 2000 contest)
Situated on the Pacific flyway bird migration route, and the site of the
world's largest salmon run on the Fraser River, Vancouver has a unique
opportunity to become a truly green city - where the old dichotomy of
the city as outside of nature is broken down.
The goal of the Babylon Challenge is to celebrate existing songbird
friendly balconies and to encourage new ones; and in the process transform
our city into one of the seven wonders of the world: the Gardens of Babylon!
Habitat loss is the single biggest threat to songbird populations, as
well as to other crucial pollinator
species such as butterflies. Plantings on apartment balconies and
rooftops can collectively create walls of vegetation: an oasis of desperately
needed food and water for migratory birds and butterflies. Remember that
songbird and pollinator friendly means pesticide-free.
HOW TO REGISTER
The contest is open to residents of the Greater Vancouver centre - the
area between Boundary Road on the East, the ocean on the West the Fraser
River on the South and Burrard Inlet on the North.
1. FOR THOSE WITH EXISTING ROOFTOP AND BALCONY GARDENS ( more than 2 years
2. FOR THOSE DEVELOPING NEW GREEN SPACES ( less than 2 years new )
· Roof Decks
· Rooftops ( entire )
THAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR THE MOST SONGBIRD FRIENDLY SPACES
Contest registration closes July 31st.
Participants may register anytime before July 31st.
which category & sub-category(s) you are entering. You can also find
Babylon brochures containing entry forms at garden centres, community
centres and bookstores around Vancouver.
By July 31st we must also receive a photo of your balcony or planting
with your name and contact information labelled clearly on the back.
These photographs will be adjudicated and the winners, in each category,
will receive prizes from such sponsors as the Avant Gerdener, David Hunter
Garden Centres, Dig This, Wild Birds Unlimited, and other bird-friendly
Finalists will have their photo authenticated by a visit to their roof-top,
balcony or window box from a SongBird representative, after which
the final decisions will be made.
Prizes will be awarded according to category & sub-category, with
a final Grand Prize Draw
Remember, the deadline for registration & photo submissions is
A Babylon Award Ceremony will be held annually and there will
also be an exhibition of photographs from the Challenge. This event is
open to the public, so bring your friends and family!