To everyone who attended Wednesday’s UBC Food Systems workshop: thank you so much. The event went as well as it possibly could have, in my opinion, with a resounding message of support for the UBC Farm as the outcome. Each of around a dozen break-out groups used their report-back time to make a strong statement of support for the maintenance of the Farm’s current size and location, expansion of academic connections, financial support for the Farm from the University, and enhancement of like-minded food production areas on campus. It was also emphasized that to reduce or hinder the growth of the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems would be a seriously regressive act for the University, and would be looked poorly upon by the global academic and sustainability communities.
Critical questions were raised regarding what would become of the ideas generated by the attendees of the workshop. Campus and Community Planning’s Joe Stott said that any consensus formed at the meeting was in no way binding, but that the goal was to “generate as many ideas as possible” to assist in the planning process. The results of the workshop will be made available to attendees and the public via C&CP’s website. (We’ll also post updates here.)
The next step – which C&CP is calling “The Preferred Option” – is due this Fall, and entails the presentation of a number of land-use proposals by Campus and Community Planning (C&CP), each outlining a different scenario for the South Campus area. It is fair to say that if none of these scenarios suggests the Farm be kept at its current location and size, it will prove a blatant disregard for the “consultation” held on Wednesday, and totally undermine the stated intentions of C&CP to listen to public input.
We’ll keep up all our efforts with outreach and pressure on the University in the months to come, and I invite you to keep up with progress. In order to save this beautiful place we need all the help we can get at this time. Thanks for your continued support and assistance!
(**For those of you who weren’t able to make it, Mark Bomford’s rushed but rich presentation about the Farm’s legacy, role, and importance at UBC has been posted on YouTube.)