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Living Locally

Community Orchard program comes to fruit-ition

August 13, 2015

In one year, 114 fruit-bearing trees will remove 8.08 tonnes of CO2 from the air and filter 100 litres of storm water. This is the impact this year’s Community Orchards will have on our environment.

Community Orchards were planted by REAP and Enactus Calgary this past Sunday at two Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) apartment buildings, Acadia Community Garden & Art Society, and Grow Calgary.

The fruit harvested from the trees and shrubs at the CHF sites will go towards feeding the formerly homeless tenants in these buildings.

REAP was joined at the CHF buildings by the owners of four of the seven REAP businesses who donated the plants. Gaurav Gupta from Leela Eco Spa and Studio, Mark van Engelen from Nya Sustainability, Matt Mayer from Conscious Brands, Aman and Stephanie Adatia from Eat Naaco (who also provided lunch to the volunteers) were all there, among the CHF residents getting their hands dirty. Neal’s Yard Remedies, Yummi Yogis and Greengate Garden Centres were also contributors to this year’s program.

“We are proud to be involved in the community orchards program. It is one of the optimum ways to give back to the environment and the community in one initiative,” says Gaurav.

Also in attendance were 15 volunteers from Enactus Calgary -- a volunteer-run community of business leaders and university students, finding communities in need and using entrepreneurial action to benefit them.

“[The Community Orchards] aligns with our values because it empowers these individuals to manage their own space and their own food.” says Scott Radford, Faculty Advisor for the U of C chapter of Enactus.

Sue Fortune, Director of Abbeydale Place, says that horticultural programs are very therapeutic for clients.

The driving force for the Community Orchards was a request for assistance from Eat Naaco’s Aman and Stephanie, who in 2012 made a commitment to plant one tree for every 500 meals they served through their mobile food business. Through collaboration with REAP and its partners, the program has evolved to plant fruit-bearing trees and shrubs in under-served communities to simultaneously beautify Calgary neighbourhoods while offsetting businesses’ carbon footprint.

“Thanks to the leadership of [Eat Naaco] who brought us this opportunity, Community Orchards help REAP businesses to reduce their environmental impact by creating lasting assets for Calgary communities in need,” says Stephanie Jackman, Founder of REAP.

“We’re proud to have facilitated the donation of 200 trees for the creation of eight orchards since 2013.”


Click to learn more about Calgary Homeless Foundation, Acadia Community Garden & Art Society, Grow Calgary and Enactus Calgary.
To learn more about the other amazing initiatives this year’s donors have undertaken - Leela Eco Spa and Studio, Nya Sustainability, Conscious Brands, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Yummi Yogis, Eat Naaco, and Greengate Garden Centre’s – visit their profiles on our business directory.

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Did you know?

REAP businesses generate $4 billion in annual revenue.