Vancouver will look a lot more pastoral if urban farming initiatives take root
If your favourite colour is green and you happen to live in Vancouver, next week is going to feel a lot like Christmas. That's because city staff are recommending the elected officials support the distribution of $210,000 in new eco grants to a variety of organizations around town. Some of the recipients you will recognize, others not so much.
The first $100K is coming out of Mayor Gregor's newly created Greenest City Neighbourhood Fund. According to the staff report:
The focus of the allocations for 2009 and 2010, totaling $200,000, was to support local urban food systems projects meeting multiple goals identified in the Vancouver 2020 Action Plan such as ecological health, urban greening, a green economy, and building neighbourhood food assets.
If you're wondering what kind of organizations are eligible for this funding, they include the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC); Child and Nature Alliance Society; Environmental Youth Alliance Society (EYA) and the Global Youth Education Network Society.
According to the staff report, the $100K in funding will include the following projects:
- $15,500 to the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (a major cycling lobbyist organization) to develop "a courier business using cargo bikes."
- $10,000 to the Global Youth Education Network Society for "workshops to connect communities on shared values, commitments and a vision for a sustainable future."
- $2,000 for "cycling resources at Vancouver’s Farmers Markets e.g. basic tune- ups, tutorials on bike mechanics, and cycle route planning."
- $10,000 to the Hastings Community Association for "community wide skill-building program on neighbourhood food security, nutrition workshops, community meals and a teaching garden."
- $5,000 to the Environmental Youth Alliance for "a pilot project to explore small- scale grain production by converting conventional grass lawns."
- $8,000 to the City in Focus Foundation to "integrate best-practices on sustainable food system among faith-based service providers."
The other staff report appropriately titled Community Urban Agriculture Fund and Neighbourhood Food Security Grant Allocations is also recommending $110,000 in expenditures. Here is a list of what they're proposing:
- $4,000 to Other Sights for Artists Projects Association for a "series of walks, workshops, lectures, and creative experiments in urban agriculture."
- $4,000 to Growing Chefs! Chefs for Children’s Urban Agriculture for "education on healthy eating, cooking, local and urban agriculture, land and food systems issues."
- $15,000 to the Environmental Youth Alliance for "training / capacity building on
health and nutrition aspect of urban agriculture."
- $10,000 to the Vancouver Urban Farm Network "to facilitate best practices about urban farming."
- $10,000 to the Downtown Eastside Right to Food Network "to create a robust, sustainable and interconnected DTES food system, from seed to compost. The projects are part of 7 total solutions identified in the project by community members."
- $10,000 to the Trout Lake Cedar Cottage Food Security Network "to bring healthy and affordable food directly to the neighbourhood through a community produce stand, and increase knowledge of healthy eating habits and distribution of healthy recipes/resources.
It is expected that a majority of council will support each and every grant recommended by staff. The two reports will go before council next Tuesday.
For a previous CityCaucus.com commentary on the subject of urban agriculture, see this August 2010 post by Mike Klassen. We've also written about how the future economic development of Vancouver under Vision will be farming – read here.
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