Green Scenes

I do tours. Tours on things that are green and sustainable. I started the Green Scenes program with partner Simon Fraser University Centre for Sustainable Community Development a few years ago. I now do a course with them, detailed below. And also this fall will be doing a number of tours at the Gaining Ground Conference which will be held in Vancouver, BC.

This past June I launched a series called Exploring the Food System on the West Side. That series continues this summer with a waste tour and one on the emergency food system, see below. A number of these tours will repeat in the fall. Check this site for monthly tours, events and talks.

Simon Fraser University (SFU) Applications Course ā€“ Oct 1-3
I co-teach this course which is part of the new certificate in sustainable community development jointly offered by SFU’s City Program and the Centre for Sustainable Community Development. It’s basically a three day tour. Here are a few highlights from last year. Vista D’Oro Farms, a beautiful diverse farm. After a discussion of food security and the agricultural land reserve, we sipped wine and shopped for artisinal preserves at their farmgate shop. Still Creek, one of Vancouver’s only remaining urban streams. Vancouver Film Studios and Canadian Tire have contributed to daylighting and restoring sections of the buried stream as part of their development agreements with the City. We also got a tour of the Film Studios and heard about their zero waste strategy. Regrettably for some, we did not see any stars. We went to the landfill and talked garbage. And we did a walking tour of Hastings and Pender and learned why one street had plenty and the other was a food desert. Find out more (including last year’s itinerary).

Gaining Ground Conference Tours: OCT 19-23
Register now for the tours in October at the Gaining Ground Conference. The theme this year is Resilient Cities: Urban Strategies for Transition Times. I will be leading four, resiliently themed tours along with the help of other experts. Visit a farm, stroll our green streets, walk through the infamous downtown eastside and the soon to be famous 2010 Olympic Village site.

With any tour registration, receive a one-time $50 coupon that can be applied to subsequent Simon Fraser University (SFU) City Program 2-day courses, in either the Sustainable Community Development program or the Urban Design Program.

Exploring the Food System on the West Side Series

Westside Waste Tour
Wednesday, July 29th 6:30pm to 8:30 pm

In 2007, about 3.6 millon tonnes of solid waste was generated in Metro Vancouver. Current initiatives like recycling, backyard composting, municipal leaf and yard waste composting are diverting over 50% of those materials. Metro Van has adopted the Zero Waste Challenge and hopes to get to 70% diversion. So how are we doing waste-wise on the west side? Come poke around in back alleys, garbage cans and compost bins with us. We’ll look at how grocery stores and restaurants are managing their waste. Are any of them composting? If not, what are the barriers? We’ll see a unique mid-scale composting system designed by a local co-op housing development. We’ll check out some backyard bins too; 46% of Vancouverites are already composting in their backyards ā€“ many of those west siders! Learn about food recovery programs and innovative initiatives designed to waste not. Find out what you can do in your own backyard to reduce edible and inedible food waste.

The Gauntlet: A Look at the Emergency Food System
Wednesday, August 26th 6:30pm to 8:30pm

As we walk in our west side neighbourhoods, many of us run the daily gauntlet of outstretched hands, from the homeless to the NGO’s. We look at the emergency food system and the charity model and ponder: to give or not to give? Talk to service providers and learn about food programs on the west side that cater to vulnerable populations, as well as other initiatives that help increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables for all.

Exploring Food tours $35 each. Register at

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