2022 Greener Greenspace Profile
Highfield Regenerative Farm
Located in an industrialized area in Calgary, Highfield Regenerative Farm is an urban farm and community hub that focuses on regenerative agriculture, community building and land revitalization.
Design and Process
Established in 2019, Highfield Regenerative Farm is a vibrant and productive farm and greenspace located on the site of a former brownfield in an industrial area of Calgary. The urban farm’s guiding pillars are land revitalization, regenerative food and community building. To transition the once previously vacant industrial land into an active community farm hub, a large part of the land revitalization strategy involved cleaning up waste, removing invasive species and nurturing pre-existing native plants and trees.
The 15-acre farm and greenspace features three distinct spaces - an area dedicated to composting and building soil, a large garden area for growing a variety of vegetables, and 5-acres of forest. As a community hub, there are places to sit, explore and gather for activities, workshops and other recreational activities.
The farm is cared for using regenerative farming practices that consider the ecosystem as a whole and utilize natural processes and strategies for weed and pest management. Biologically beneficial composting practices are used to build soil and support the soil food web in the garden spaces and improve the soil health of the natural forested area.
The growing space of the farm includes gardens that sustains a community shared agriculture program and grow fresh produce to donate to local food banks and other services. In 2022, the farm added a greenhouse that will allow the urban farm to triple its production and grow year-round.
The forested area of the farm has paths, which allow visitors to explore native plants and trees. The area acts as a wildlife corridor and is valuable habitat for several animal species and pollinators. Since 2019, many animals, insects and birds such as coyotes, badgers, weasles, deer, bobcat, owls, falcons, native bees and more have returned to the area.
Highfield Regenerative Farm is a project of the Compost Council of Canada and the City of Calgary. A full-time Operations Manger, a seasonal part-time staff member and many volunteers maintain the farm and assist with planting, weeding and harvesting.
As an important urban greenspace, the community is able to participate in farming activities, utilize the forest and farm spaces for personal recreation, and access fresh, local whole foods in their community. Other community groups and businesses help to activate and animate the farm and provide educational opportunities for the wider community to learn about urban agriculture and land revitalization.
As a pilot project of the City of Calgary, Highfield Regenetative Farm supports the city’s environmental strategies by exemplifying best practices and demonstrating the beneficial use of urban land for growing food and community.
To learn more, visit the farm's website.
Greener Greenspaces is a recognition program for sites from across Canada that exemplify greener greenspace stewardship. The aim of the program is to showcase examples of ecologically-focused land care as a means to inspire others and to further the movement across Canada.See the full list of 2022 recognition recipients here