Vancouver, BC – Hemmera, in partnership with SOLEfood Farm, is thrilled to have received a Brownie Award for Best Large-Scale Project. The award was presented to “SOLEfood Farm: Interim Brownfield Use as Urban Agriculture” by the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) at a gala dinner during this month’s Canadian Brownfields conference. This is Hemmera’s second partnership to be recognized by the CUI; in 2011, Hemmera shared a Best Small Project Brownie Award for the Davie Village Community Garden with Prima Properties.
CUI’s annual Brownie Awards recognize leadership, innovation and environmental sustainability in brownfields redevelopment across Canada. The Brownie Awards are among the highest accolades in the Canadian brownfields industry.
Established in 2009, SOLEfood Farm is an innovative agricultural enterprise that provides employment and training opportunities for individuals from the downtown eastside of Vancouver. Farming is completed on vacant commercial or industrial brownfield properties that are contaminated and/or undergoing remediation. Five locations in downtown Vancouver currently sell SOLEFood’s fresh organic produce to local farmers’ markets and restaurants.
As SOLEfood Farm expands to additional properties, Hemmera’s Brownfield and risk assessment experts have been assisting with the evaluation and management of the sites and potential issues. In a first for Hemmera, we submitted an application on behalf of SOLEfood Farm to the BC Brownfield Renewal Strategy Program, and were delighted that SOLEfood was one of 24 successful BC recipients of the $1.64 million in total funding awarded. This funding will be used to conduct risk assessment activities on three sites in the City of Vancouver, and will potentially allow for an expansion of operations. Additionally, the City of Vancouver and several business development groups have been supportive of the SOLEfood initiative.
“This is a great example of an interim land use on a former industrial or commercial property”, says Eric K. Pringle, Vice President of Development for Hemmera. “The triple bottom line aspects of the SOLEfood Farm work have resonated with so many people. It is another win-win-win project for the organization, the community, and the local government. The SOLEfood program is a great aspect of the City of Vancouver’s initiative to be the Greenest City by 2020.”
Mr. Pringle is also the Director and Vice President of the Canadian Brownfields Network, an organization that supported and participated in the CUI conference. While attending the two-day event in Niagara Falls, ON, Mr. Pringle and Peter Reid, who spoke on our work with SOLEfood Farms at the conference, received positive feedback from peers and industry professionals in regards to the success of the SOLEfood Farm project.
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Hemmera is a boutique environmental consulting firm that is recognized for its strong client focus, diverse expertise, and technical excellence. We act as a trusted partner to our clients, providing solutions that safeguard the environment and the community, while advancing economic opportunities. The strength of our team has made us the firm of choice for some of the largest environmental projects in Western and Northern Canada. www.hemmera.com
About SOLEfood Farm
SOLEfood Farm is a non-profit urban agriculture initiative that employs and provides training opportunities for Vancouver’s inner-city residents. The enterprise presents a successful self-supporting model of innovative agriculture within an urban context. SOLEfood not only provides rewarding employment for persons with various challenges, but also revitalizes neighbourhoods and supplies fresh produce to city residents. http://1sole.wordpress.com/