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East Vancouver neighbourhood to get new urban food forest

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A collective garden can help a neighborhood secure food supplies in their own neighborhood and act as a community farmer and meeting place

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Susan Lazaruk VANCOUVER, BC: March 11, 2021 - Undated handout from supporters of a new one VANCOUVER, BC: March 11, 2021 – Undated handout from supporters of a new “urban food forest” at Burrard View Park in the Hasting-Sunrise neighborhood of Vancouver. Pictured from left to right Brandon Bauer, Marie-Pierre Bilodeau, Omri Haiven, Zoe Beynon-MacKinnon and Luis Almazan. (Submitted). For Sue Lazaruk story [PNG Merlin Archive] PNG

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A proposed “food forest” for a park in East Vancouver can help the neighborhood ensure local food supplies, especially during a pandemic.

According to Marie-Pierre Bilodeau of Refarmers, one of three non-profit organizations, a food forest is different from a community garden in that there are no individual parcels and it is designed for native plants, shrubs and trees that brought the idea to the park authority at the end of last year City.

The community would participate in the Vancouver Urban Food Forest Collective Garden’s harvest and gain knowledge of how to grow their own food on their balconies, both of which serve to increase food security for the marginalized, she said.

It is to be built in Burrard View Park in the Hastings-Sunrise neighborhood. Supporters and employees of the park authority determine the location in the park.

The area around the park comprises 40 percent single-family homes, 60 percent low-rise apartments, three low-income residential complexes in British Columbia, the Aboriginal Mother’s Center and the Kiwassa Neighborhood House, all of which serve “underserved populations”. according to the park’s employee report.

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The park is ideal because “it’s closest to the greatest number of people who don’t have space to grow their own food,” said Bilodeau.

“I hope we can show how incredibly cool they are, how revolutionary it is,” she said of food forests, which are becoming increasingly popular in the US. It creates a different mood. “

There are smaller food forests, including a small one in Riley Park, a City Farmer in Kitsilano, another in Renfrew-Collingwood, and the Copley Orchard near Trout Lake, Bilodeau said.

The Vancouver Park Board should have voted on a recommendation from staff to approve the proposal at the board’s regular meeting this week.

Cate Jones, who spoke to the board on behalf of the Burrardview Community Association, said the group supported the proposal but requested that it be removed from the park’s only flat lawn that was well used by children for casual sports and picnickers.

The board has sent the proposal back to staff for further discussions with supporters and other members of the community “to identify a suitable location,” spokeswoman Daria Wojnarski said in an email.

The food forest proposed by three non-profit organizations, Refarmers, Kiwassa Neighborhood House and Lettuce Harvest, was supported by 70 percent of respondents to a park survey. About a third wanted another location.

slazaruk@postmedia.com

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