1979 – The Beginning
- Earthwise has always been a leader in sustainability initiatives, starting its life as the Delta Recycling Society (DRS).
- In 1979, in response to a municipal garbage strike, a group of concerned Delta citizens founded the Delta Recycling Project to set up community recycling depots.
- The idea of recycling caught on, and Delta Recycling Society (DRS) was registered as a Non Profit Society in 1983.
- Delta Recycling Society was quick to learn that education is the key to sustainability, successfully establishing the first blue box collection program in Western Canada in 1988.
- The early work of the society was also intricately linked to providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
- In 1995, the Society created a Compost Demonstration Garden at its recycling facility in Tilbury Industrial Park to raise awareness about backyard composting and create a welcome green space for local business workers.
- Later renamed the Earthwise Garden, the unique, one-acre display garden was the first of its kind in BC, demonstrating ecological landscaping and featuring native and drought tolerant plants.
- The Garden provided a unique green refuge in an industrial park, where area workers could eat lunch, stroll, or grow food in the community gardens.
- In 2001, the BC Landscape and Nursery Association recognized the Society for Leadership in Environmental Stewardship for its role in championing the Earthwise Garden.
- By 2004, North America’s recycling industry had grown into a mainstream business, and the Corporation of Delta made the decision to contract with a large private recycling company. As a result, the Tilbury facility and its demonstration garden were closed, but Earthwise Society designed a new garden for McKitrick Park in North Delta.
- In 2005, the Delta Recycling Society officially changed its name to DRS Earthwise Society, to reflect its new focus on a broader range of
environmental education and community stewardship initiatives.
2007 – Present Day
- Earthwise Society moved to its new home in Tsawwassen in 2007, creating the Boundary Bay Earthwise Garden and Farm on land generously provided by Century Group.
- The new site offered Earthwise Society exciting opportunities for long term planning and allowed for a new range of programs focused on small scale sustainable
- Today, the three acre site in Boundary Bay has been transformed into a beautiful and productive public garden and organic farm with year round production, a plant nursery, a farm store, and ongoing educational programs for all ages.