LOCAL PRODUCE FOR CAPILANO
Plans for a community garden are well underway

Capilano University could be growing its own organic vegetables come next fall semester.

According to Matt Bakker, Environmental Issues Coordinator, they have a “deal on a handshake” with facilities to be able to use some space on campus, ideally in a location with high visibility and an available water source.

Aramark has championed the project, offering to cover startup costs for the garden. They also proposed the idea of purchasing vegetables from the garden at a standard cost to use in the cafeteria.

Bakker stresses that there must be a dual focus. He wants to make Capilano more sustainable by supplying vegetables to Aramark, but also wants to produce local produce for students and faculty. He adds that it is “really important to be inclusive of all the community stakeholders, and Aramark is a big part of that.”

It is not 100 percent certain that the vegetables will be organic, but he notes that everyone wants that to be the case; it’s just a matter of figuring out how it will work.”

The idea for a community garden was born when a couple students approached Capilano’s Energy Manager Susan Doig last year. When the students failed to follow through with the project, Doig contacted Bakker, who has since been working hard to make it a reality.

So far, Bakker has held one meeting to gather student input, and reported a lot of “amazing energy from really motivated people.” Apart from working out the legality issues about selling food, Bakker has encountered few obstacles so far. “Maybe I’m na├»ve,” he says, “but I can’t understand an opposition to it.”


//Natalie Corbo


news editor

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