How A Food Forest Took Root In A Concrete Jungle

décembre 13, 2023
Patricia Feehely

Meet community leaders Marie-Pierre, Geneviève and from Vancouver, Montréal and  Toronto. Their stories are part of our winter donation campaign, featuring the incredible work being done to foster social connection and community resilience in parks and green spaces across Canada. 


Meet Marie-Pierre, a visionary and advocate for creating green oases in the heart of concrete jungles. Her passion is understanding the challenges and the important role of accessible green spaces. These spaces foster community connections, a sense of place, and an appreciation for histories and practices woven from the land. This vision led to the inception of the Vancouver Urban Food Forest (VUFFF).

Formed amid the pandemic, VUFFF addressed the challenges of isolation and food accessibility in a community of 34,000. Recognizing the need, and with support from Park People, VUFF envisioned a food forest as a haven for urban indigenous communities and low-income residents, championing the belief that access to green spaces and the right to cultivate food are fundamental human rights. 

Source: Community Herb Garden Workshop, Burrard View Park, Vancouver

They established Vancouver’s first Indigenous food forest, Chén̓chenstway Healing Garden, in Oxford Park, Vancouver. VUFFF’s ongoing efforts at the Burrard Park View Field House are a testament to their resilience.

With the support of Park People, VUFFF has been able to host community herbal garden workshops and other events to support, connect, and empower their community. Those once disconnected or hesitant about gardening have discovered a nurturing community, valuing their stories and experiences. Through herbal gardens, arts and crafts, and open dialogue, VUFFF has ignited a wave of positive change across the community. 

In the concrete jungles of modern cities, Park People supports VUFFF to plant seeds of connection, empowerment, and transformation, reminding us that parks are more than mere spaces – they are the heart of community growth, healing, and prosperity.

Source: Chén̓chenstway Healing Garden and Indigenous Food Forest, Oxford Park, Vancouver

As we dream of vibrant cities, we at Park People acknowledge and support the crucial role of community organizations like VUFFF. They are not just sowing seeds of change but nurturing the bonds connecting us to nature and each other. 

Donate now to Park People and support groups like VUFFF that continue to connect and engage your communities. Your donation, no matter how big or small,  will help transform our cities into vibrant, healthy, and resilient hubs for social change. Your generosity will support people like Marie-Pierre and build the cities of tomorrow.


Read other community leaders’ stories with Nawal from Toronto and Geneviève from Montreal.


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