Society for
Organic Urban
Land Care

The Role of Horticulture in Social and Land Equity

Over the coming months SOUL will be hosting an online discussion and learning series on the role of land care, horticulture and landscaping in cultivating social and land equity.

The field of horticulture directly or indirectly influences almost all urban greenspaces. This influence can be put to work in developing solutions to a variety of issues:

  • Over half of the Indigenous people within Canada live in urban communities and most have little or no access to land and greenspaces.
  • Food insecurity is rampant within Canada and particularly affects racialized communities, the majority of whom do not have access to land to grow food for themselves, or to grow and sell food within the community.
  • The broad displacement of native plant species has widely recognized ecological impacts, especially for pollinator populations. Their displacement also has cultural implications for the Indigenous Peoples who have lived in relationship with those species for millennia.
  • The resources consumed in our projects are sourced somewhere. Learning about their sourcing and lifecycles can allow us to influence landscapes beyond the boundaries of our project sites.
This series is open to the entire horticultural community. There will be additional sessions at the end of the series for SOUL members to discuss the role of SOUL in relationship to these issues and any actions or policies to adopt as we go forward.

Since the topics that will be explored are broad and complex, they can take time to process and integrate. With this in mind, the series will take place over several months, in paired sessions. Each pair will include a learning session with a guest speaker and/or a specific topic, followed a week or two later by a roundtable discussion session (or sessions, if attendance levels are high enough) for participants to share questions, thoughts and ideas on that topic.

At this point, we plan to host six pairs of sessions over six months. The topic for the first pair of sessions will be an overview of how and where land care and horticulture intersect with social and land equity and our related responsibilities and opportunities.

We’ll follow this with three session pairs exploring specific experiences and aspects of inequity that exist within Canada. 

To complete this series we will host two session pairs exploring ideas and opportunities for cultivating equity and land access through the work of land care.

The initial outline of topics includes:

October 8th: Working from Where We Are An overview of some of the ways that horticulture, landscaping and land care intersect with and can support social justice and equity efforts - The recording of this session is now posted.

November 5th : Urban Green Space and Land Access for Indigenous and racialized peoples and across socioeconomic spectrums. Presented by Isaac Crosby, Lead Hand in urban agriculture at the Evergreen Brick Works. - The recording of this session is now posted.

January 7th: Food Access and Sovereignty in the Urban Landscape Presented by Cheyenne Sundance of Sundance Harvest -The recording of this session is now posted

February 11th: Cultural values and how they frame horticultural norms  

March 11th: Cultivating awareness within the land care and horticultural industry

April 8th: Cultivating relationships within diverse communities

Please click on the session topics above to register to attend.

Registration links for the February to April sessions will be added to this page as days and times are finalized

Participation in this series if free for SOUL members (Annual public membership is $50) and pay-what-you-can for non-members, with a suggested contribution of $10 per session pair if your budget permits.

To receive email updates on this series, please register to receive updates here.

Please help us spread the word about this series by sharing it with your contacts and horticultural network.

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Canadian Society for Organic Urban Land Care (SOUL)
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