At the end of August, I was fortunate enough to be welcomed on a trip to the Masaai Mara in Kenya through Langara International Service Trips (LIST). This trip was special for a variety of reasons. We were the first students from Langara to make the trip, as well as the first college or university from Canada to go on a Me to We service trip. On a more personal note, Kenya has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember, and I had been looking for ways to give back after completing my diploma at Langara.
This trip changed the way I want to travel. While I still think I’ll go on fun trips with friends who want to live the tourist life, I can’t see myself enjoying them as much as I did when I was immersing myself in a new culture and learning about the lives of people there.
On the Rise is a story published in the 2019 issue of Pacific Rim Magazine, and was written during my time in the Langara Publishing Program. I was inspired to write this story after learning about the Vancouver Public Library’s rooftop gardens. As an environmentalist, I was curious if rooftop gardens, which can come with a hefty price tag, were worth it. I was prepared to write the story based on the research, as any writer should be, but I do have to admit that I went in thinking that the gardens were no more than a pretty accessory for pretty buildings.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The story explores the positive impact rooftop gardens can have on our agriculture, environment, and community.
This article wouldn’t have been possible without the help of my interview subjects, Carol Nelson and Vicki Wojcik, who graciously agreed to help me with this project without even knowing if it would make it to print.
Also a huge shout out to my editors, Marie Adamo and Kathleen Murdock, who helped get my ideas out to the world and rid the article of typos and grammatical errors.
In the print edition of the article, photographer Taylor Vander Baaren and designer/illustrator Rachel Jackson made my ideas come to life with their art, and I am forever grateful. Also a shout out to the Pacific Rim 2019 art department, who had the challenge of finding a thriving rooftop garden during the middle of winter, and found a way to make it work.