Free the Fern Executive Director, Grace Nombrado, was honoured to be invited by Biologist, Angela Danyluk and UBC researchers, Dana Johnson, Joe Fitzgibbons, and Dan Forrest, to contribute her expertise and ideas to the workshop: “Visualizing future scenarios to support people and nature in Vancouver”. The results of the workshop will be shared with the City of Vancouver and be made available to the public in digital format.
Participants met on the 5th floor of the Vancouver Engineer Department building at Broadway and Cambie. It was a bright, clear day and the North shore mountains were clearly visible from the windows that ran along 3 sides of the room. Gathering there were experts in environmental stewardship, science, farming, and academia.
Those in the room were divided up into smaller groups based on their expertise and the location of their work. For the first half of the workshop, each were asked to think of a natural space that they were most familiar with and mind map all the features and connections in that area.
Grace chose to map the Champlain Heights Neighbourhood, which is famous for its urban native forest. Grace realized that there is a human triangle of: community, environmental stewards, and artists that support the urban forest. Within that forest there exists a variety of native tree and plant species, birds, and wild life. But, there also exists many invasive species. Through that human supportive triangle, volunteer stewards are having a positive change with restoring the natural ecology.
Ideas of the participants were also captured in graphic form by artists with @drawing_change
In the afternoon participants dove deeper, to explore various city scapes: coastal, residential, industrial, and mixed-use (or “diverse”). In small groups, they shared their ideal future for these spaces, a future that would balance the needs of humans and the natural ecosystem.
Participants left feeling optimistic about the future for Vancouver and its green spaces.
We eagerly look forward to seeing the final report for this project, including digital copies of the visuals created by Drawing Change.