On Friday, Aug 18, 2023, Free the Fern was honoured to welcome a group of 19 City of Vancouver staff and stewardship volunteers from across Vancouver for a tour of the Douglas Fir Teaching Garden and Free the Fern’s stewardship areas along the Red Alder Trail.
Grace Nombrado, Executive Director of Free the Fern, guided the tour showcasing the nearly 1400 native plants volunteers have planted since 2021. We paused to hear a story by Leona Brown, Indigenous knowledge sharer with Vancouver Urban Food Forest Foundation. Leona shared a story about how when there was a great fire, long ago, mice had to find a place of refuge, so they hid the Douglas fir pine cones – hence why it looks like mice tails peeking out of the pine ones. The tour continued with a walk through Everett Crowley Park, led by Damian Assadi ECPC chair, Free the Fern director, and CHCA board member. Damian guided us to the ecologically sensitive Avalon pond area and up to the pollinator garden. It was a walk that celebrated the unique community and stewardship effort happening in Champlain Heights. We hope this event shall lead to a deeper awareness of the ecological value of this special neighbourhood