Its fall and winter is coming. North Shore bears are fattening up in any way they can, from eating pizza out of garbage cans to devouring any apples on any trees they can find.  While bears are fattening up, some people are going hungry. You can combat both problems by joining the North Shore Fruit Tree Project.

No doubt you’ve never heard of this project. I hadn’t either until the other day it was mentioned to me in casual conversation.  I’m not too worried about the bears. They always find ways to survive. Its hungry people that concerns me. In a community as wealthy as the North Shore, no one should be going hungry.  As they say on their website, “food security sounds very formal, but its essence is quite simple. If you have access to adequate quantities of healthy food when you need it, you are food secure. If you struggle to be able to afford healthy food, then you might be food insecure. A community has food security when it builds networks to grow, harvest, and share healthy food with everyone.”

Food security is part of a bigger picture of local self-reliance as well. Communities are becoming more interested in creating local networks of transportation, education, and food. Some of these communities are very urban, some are rural, and some are in the suburbs. By growing our own food in our own communities, we increase everyone’s ability to eat healthy local food, now and in the future.

Who is behind the Fruit Tree Project?  Tom Walker is a municipal recreation manager, using sport as a tool for community development. A lifelong North Vancouver resident, Tom has a Master’s degree in Urban Studies at Simon Fraser University.  Erin Williams was born and raised on the North Shore, a competitive figure skater growing up.  She graduated from UVIC as a politically active student with a Degree in Political Science. Cydney Walker grew up and still lives in North Vancouver. She has a degree in Recreation Therapy and currently works for the North Shore Infant Development Program as an Infant Development Consultant. She volunteers for the Make-a-Wish Foundation as a Wish Grantor and is involved at Westside Church.

How does the project work? Fruit tree “picks” are scheduled late afternoon/early evening on weekdays and on weekends in the late summer and early fall. In late fall and winter you can volunteer your time and efforts in grant writing, bookkeeping and administration.  To learn more, call them at 604-983-6444 (ext 640) or log on to their website at



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