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.
Ask me to hold a bird and I’ll probably say no — having owned and worked with them in the past, I’ve had a few bites that make me more than a little nervous to do that again. But ask me to take some photos of them and I am there! And what better place to practice bird photography than at the Bloedel Conservatory?
Bloedel Conservatory is the perfect tropical getaway right within the city limits. The minute you enter, you’re transported to a lush, tropical rainforest environment like no other in Vancouver. I think I could probably spend all day in this paradise.
The birds are by no means shy, and I had no problem grabbing multiple photos of even the smallest, flightiest finches they had. There was one elusive bird and unfortunately, I did not catch the name of the species. Whatever it was, it scuttled around the grounds, always managing to evade my camera at every chance. Thinking back, I wonder if the birds knew what they were doing, and were making a game of it at my expense.