After 10 months, 146 volunteers, 299.5 hours, and 14,820 L of invasives removed, the Red Alder Trail in South Vancouver was ready for our Native Food Forest Planting!
We were blessed with a break in the rainy weather for our planting event. 58 volunteers dedicated a total of 150 hours to help with plant set-up, volunteer sign-in, planting, and clean-up. There was such a lovely community feeling as everyone came together to help restore the forest. We had volunteers from as young as babies to 70+ year old elders lend a hand. Together we were able to plant 690 native fruit trees/berry bushes, flowers, and ground cover.
Everyone enjoyed having a break for coffee (donated by Starbucks Champlain Heights), tea, juice, fruit, chips, cookies and granola bars. Local Elder, Marge Wylie, also shared her famous bannock and a variety of homemade jams.
Then the drumming started and the Tsatsu Stalqayu (Coastal Wolf Pack), entered the forest, in full regalia. They entered dancing as though they were paddling into the forest. They dance the 7 sisters dance and the harvest dance. We felt so honoured to have them bless our new planting. Free the Fern Executive Director, Grace, presented ceremonial tobacco in gratitude before they danced and drummed back out of the forest. What a blessing!
Our event was filmed by filmmaker Daniel Akinshola. So stay tuned for a future vide of the event to be posted to our YouTube account.
Thank you to our amazing volunteers who came out to help: Adam, Alice, Alyha, Andrea, Anne, Annette, Antone, Aurora, Barbara, Brook, Catherine, Chinonso, Chloe, Christine, Connor, Corrine, Elise, Erin, Genesis, Geneveive, Grace, Guohong, Jason, Jeannine, John, Josh, Kate, Ku, Larissa, Laura, Leslie, Liam, Lindsay, Maggie, Margaret, Martin, Matt, Max, Moira, Morteza, Naomi, Nora, Qisheng, Owen, Pat, Patricia, Peggy, Robin, Rylan, Quinn, Sam, Shivek, Silvia, Tristan, Wennie, Westley, and more!