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We always knew students arm wrestling for broccoli in our schoolyard farms was an achievement. And on June 23 it was recognized by the City of Vancouver! Fresh Roots received a 2014 Vancouver Award of Excellence in Greenest City Leadership, as named by Mayor Gregor Robertson and City Council. Huzzah, let’s celebrate !

Fresh Roots was awarded Vancouver’s Greenest City Leader for our first of their kind in Canada Schoolyard Market Gardens. Grown in partnership with the Vancouver School Board at David Thompson Secondary, Vancouver Technical Secondary, and Queen Alexandra Elementary, Fresh Roots cultivates educational farms on ¾ of an acre. All food grown is sold right back into the school community: through cafeterias and at our Good Food Markets. The market gardens also host outdoor classrooms; spaces for teachers and students to learn and explore, whether it is math (using mustard seed pods to explore standard deviation), social studies (learning just how the industrial revolution transformed agriculture), Shakespeare on the farm, or biology.

After a peer-reviewed process assessing the impact, influence and achievements of the nominees, judges looked specifically for work that is replicable and scalable. “Over 130 organizations were nominated for the awards,” said Councilor Andrea Reimer. “And it was a hard decision. Really hard.” And Fresh Roots is incredibly honoured to have been selected amongst an inspiring collection of change makers!

“Vancouver is made exceptional by the inspiring people who live, work, and contribute their ideas and talents here,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. It’s only through the collective work of many hands: students, teachers, and neighbours; funders like Vancity, the Real Estate Foundation of BC, and the Vancouver Foundation; and the Vancouver School Board that this work can take place. We are inspired by what we can achieve together.

Join us to celebrate on July 12th for a lovely summer evening in the garden at a long table dinner hosted by Farmacie.

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