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Warren’s Wall: Grand opening of new vertical fruit and vegetable garden on Vancouver’s Ray-Cam Centre marks the growth of new community roots

Warren's Wall

Over the past three years, Tides Canada’s My Arms Wide Open Fund has raised thousands of dollars to support My Arms Wide Open’s work to support sustainable community development in South Africa and other countries around the world. On June 5th, we were proud to watch their work grow new roots in Vancouver at the grand opening of a vertical food garden at the Ray-Cam Cooperative Centre.

Named “Warren’s Wall” after Warren Te Brugge, founder of the My Arms Wide Open® Foundation, the project was made possible by grants from the City of Vancouver and contributions from the Vancouver Foundation, Strathcona 1890 Urban Seed Project, UBC Civil Engineering and local construction companies who all donated time, money and supplies to the Wall’s completion. The vertical vegetable and fruit garden will bring focus to community, food security to families, and an opportunity for the children and youth at Ray-Cam to work side-by-side with the Centre’s seniors to care for and harvest the bounty.

City Councilor Andrea Reimer, Global News anchor Chris Galius, food activist Judy Kenzie and Ray-Cam’s Board Chairman Steve Bouchard all attended the event. Warren Te Brugge’s father Ed Te Brugge spoke to the audience on behalf of his son, “While the Wall provides produce, it requires constant attention and nurturing and care… but it will reward you.”

Warren’s Wall is not only innovative way to produce urban organic food. It also reaffirms that place-based strategies can turn an area often recognized for local poverty into a community where neighbours can grow and thrive together.

You can support My Arms Wide Open® by donating to the My Arms Wide Open Fund at Tides Canada.

Learn more about Warren’s Wall on the Ray-Cam site here.

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Our Living Waters (OLW) is a national water network that recognizes that achieving freshwater conservation requires the organization and alignment of diverse groups addressing freshwater issues. Outdoor retailer MEC is one organization deeply involved with OLW. We interviewed Meriko Kubota, MEC’s Director, Strategic Partnerships and Community Investment, to find out why freshwater is important in Canada and to MEC and its members.

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Learning trip to Opaskwayak Cree Nation and Sherridon, Manitoba

Two weeks into my new role as Program Associate with Tides Canada working on the Northern Manitoba Food, Culture, and Community Collaborative (NMFCCC), I had the opportunity to go on the 2016 NMFCCC Learning Trip. The Collaborative’s fourth learning trip took us to Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) and Sherridon for one week. The trip provides the Collaborative’s funders with an opportunity to get to know the community partners, learn about life in northern communities, and understand some of the challenges the people on the ground face.