Central Park: Fruits and nuts

Fruits and nuts

The park board approved a plan this week to increase the number of food-bearing trees across the city.

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The city has a goal to plant 150,000 more trees to coincide with its Greenest City 2020 action plan, which includes an urban forest management plan scheduled to be completed by September 2013. The park board has planted urban fruit orchards at several locations across the city, including at Ross, Falaise, Fraser River, Douglas and Memorial Park West parks. Apple and cherry trees have also been planted at Fraser-view and McCleery golf courses. It's estimated there are more than 600 fruit and nut trees on boulevards across the city.

The motion brought forward at the Oct. 1 park board meeting also asks city staff to look at establishing a Landmark Tree program, which would further help protect healthy mature trees in the city. City council and the park board also want wood gathered from trees that have fallen or must be removed be made available to artists.

Foodarama

Speaking of food, the Vancouver Food Policy Council hosts a free evening of discussion, performance and interactive displays about food.

And what better way to do that than with food-themed performances by burlesque entertainer Joanie Gyoza and musical guests Wheely Slow Cooking Tour.

"Check out our Assets: How could your parks and community centres make your neighbourhood a better place for local food?" is a joint initiative between the Food Policy Council and the park board's newly formed Local Food Assets Task Force.

VFPC co-chair Trish Kelly will host a discussion and audience ideas and suggestions will be captured by a "visually stunning graphic recording" and fed back to the park board. (I have no idea what that means.)

The city's go-to backyard chicken experts Village Vancouver will be on hand to curate the Demonstration Food Friendly Neighbourhood exhibit with information and of course, chickens. The event takes place Oct. 18 from 6: 30 to 9 p.m. at the Roundhouse Community Centre as part of the 2012 Sustenance Festival, running from Oct. 11 to 21. Register now as space is limited by visiting sustenancefestival.ca.

Plot thickens

In keeping with today's food theme, the city and park board are making land available for new community gardens with expressions of interest being accepted until the end of October.

About 25 per cent of the city's community gardens are located within parks, which means if that's an area of interest for you, a community consultation must take place before approval can be granted. If there is a vacant piece of city-owned land you think would make a good community garden, individuals or groups can apply to the city. And finally, if you've been eyeing land on private property the owner must give approval.

For more information on how to apply to start a community garden, visit vancouver.ca.

Night crawl

The annual "not too spooky" Creatures of the Night walks organized by the Stanley Park Ecology Society take place Oct. 5 to 31.

Follow a guide through Stanley Park's forest on a candlelit adventure and discover some of the area's most elusive nocturnal animals. The tours run every 30 minutes from the Miniature Railway, Thursdays to Sundays from 6: 30 to 10 p.m. sthomas@vancourier.com

Twitter: @sthomas10

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