Vancouver Plants Orchards in Parks and Golf Courses

The word “orchard” generally conjures up bucolic fields, not asphalt expanses. However, there is a new trend. On Seattle’s Beacon Hill seven acres of underused land are being transformed into America’s largest urban “food forest.” Across the border, in Vancouver, B.C., the city is creating orchards as part of Mayor Gregor Robertson’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan.

The 10th goal of the Action Plan is Local Food, and two of the top three priorities have to do with growing more food right in the city. This is not just talk. Vancouver created a Food Policy Council in 2004. They’ve allowed beekeeping since 2005 and backyard hens since 2007. Community gardens are spreading throughout the city.

The city already has three urban orchards in city parks (Falaise, Gaston and Slocan) and a goal of planting seven more by 2020. There are fruit and nut trees in Ross, Memorial West and New Brighton Parks as well as the Fraserview Golf Course. Mount Pleasant Park has new community gardens. So does the roof top of the West End Community Centre. Fruit trees that line the city’s streets have been mapped (see below) by the people who created the FoodTree app.

There is also the Great Northern Way Urban Orchard in False Creek, started in 2011. It is a 10,000-square-foot fruit and nut orchard on the Great Northern Way Campus. Open to visitors and volunteers, the orchard grows its organic apples, hazelnuts, strawberries, currants and more in large planter boxes.

The Copley Community Orchard near Trout Lake broke ground in 2012. The Environmental Youth Alliance and community members are working together to plan and plant. The orchard has an environmental and educational intent, as well as community garden space. Work parties are announced on the orchard’s Facebook page.

The city has a lot more ambitious plans to become a green, food-secure community. Hats off to Vancouver. They are not just talking about sustainability. They are modeling it.

Related Care2 Stories

The Incredible Edible Forest

Kids in Farm-School Partnership Know Where Food Comes From

Detroit to Become Hotbed of Urban Agriculture

Meet America’s Urban Farm Pioneer


Photo credit: Cathryn Wellner

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Yulan Lawson
Yulan Lawson3 years ago

Great ideas and I hope it spreads globally.

Dale Overall

Marvellous, lovely and beautiful blossoms and tasty fruit in the autumn, hopefully not sprayed with massive amounts of pesticides!

Veronique L.
veronique L.3 years ago


Ruth R.
Ruth R.3 years ago

Wonderful start for one city -vancouver! Thank You.

Ruth R.
Ruth R.3 years ago

Where are the petitions on this for other cities? There are so many shade trees and they could be replaced by fruit trees that provide shade in so many cities and towns and places in the Americas. PLEASE WILL PEOPLE WHO WRITE PETITIONS THAT ARE EFFECTIVE --WRITE MORE PETITIONS TO GET THESE EDIBLE FRUIT TREES LINING THE ROADS, STREETS, AND GREENWAYS IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD. THANK YOU -- A PETITION SIGNER.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener3 years ago

Wonderful trend, if it could be done with every golf course in the world, now that I would like very much!

Vicky Barman
Vicky Barman3 years ago


Jennifer C.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thanks for this article.

Miranda Parkinson

Way to go Vancouver! We applaud you!

Dave C.
Dave C.3 years ago

awesome, would be a wonderful idea to follow around the world as much as possible.