Category: Stories from the Past

Pilgrimage to Burns Bog

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Protecting burns bog a Sacred Wetland Ecosystem

a brief history of more than 30 years of Unitarian engagement in this cause


Above: Photos courtesy of the Burns Bog Conservation Society

So you’d like to know more about the Pilgrimage to Burns Bog? Many Unitarians have heard of this annual meditative walk, usually in conjunction with the Earth Day Service put on by the Environment Team.

For others, Burns Bog is a big mystery. What is it? Why is it so important? Why would Unitarians help organize a pilgrimage to a “swamp?”

Karl Perrin a long-time member of the Environment Team, answers those questions.

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Oak Street Farmers’ Market

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By Mary Lage

It was a grand adventure. The best of times. A crazy idea. A proud part of our Unitarian history. We started Vancouver’s first all-organic farmers’ market on the UCV parking lot …

To paraphrase Joni Mitchell: “They paved paradise … so we put up an all-organic farmers market

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Don’t miss this short documentary film by Jen Rashleigh and Rob Dainow on Opening Day at the Oak Street Farmers’ Market.
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It Was a Grand and Crazy Idea

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Back in 2011 a group of intrepid UCV members came up with an idea: Why not start an all-organic farmers’ market in our parking lot? What’s not to like? Under the direction of our sustainable food guru, Grant Watson, we began to make plans.

We bravely climbed a steep learning curve of city permits, farm visits, grant applications, and logo choosing, among a panoply of other tasks. One of our most debated tasks was deciding whether to put the apostrophe before or after the ‘s’ in farmers market. We had our grand opening in June with music, city officials, inspirational speakers, and a ribbon cutting ceremony – and we were off!

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Plant Based Eating

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Nearly 30 years ago, Denise Swanson and the Environment Committee began to promote plant based eating to respect animals, protect the environment and support healthy eating

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Left: Plant based Sunday brunch 2008
Right: Photo by Keith Wilkinson — Apple tree in community garden at UCV

By Denise Swanson

One of my strongest lifelong interests has been the protection and promotion of respect for animals. In 2007, there wasn’t any committee at UCV with that particular mandate, and the Environment Committee seemed a good choice to work with on this pursuit. Especially so, given that animal agriculture is one of the top industries responsible for environmental destruction.

One of my strongest lifelong interests has been the protection and promotion of respect for animals

Most people have goodwill toward other species and the individual members of them. The overwhelmingly largest number of animals in need of protection are those on factory farms. Many are aware of the routine horrors behind factory farming (quite apart from their link to zoonotic diseases). An obvious way to protect them is to refrain from supporting their abuse by not buying – by boycotting – their ‘products’. Thus, I turned my attention to what is fast gaining momentum as an environmental as well as animal protection movement: plant-based eating.

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50 Years Ago the First Greenpeace Voyage was Ratified in the Fireside Room

iconic photo of Greenpeace founder Bob Hunter aboard the Phyllis Cormack

Above 1971: Robert Hunter on the first voyage of the Greenpeace boat
Photo by Robert Keziere | Keziere writes: “My contact sheets indicate the photo was taken at sea, eastbound, somewhere between Akutan Island and Sand Point, Alaska. Our ship was underway to the customs office in Sand Point, alas, away from Amchitka Island and the Cannikin nuclear test. Understood at the time.”

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