About Me

I’m a writer, designer and community ecologist based in Vancouver, Canada. I help people reconnect with nature.

I started my working life and still self-identify as a journalist. They say “the ink gets in your blood.” I still write for newspapers and magazines but now put more time into books. Read more about my novels and non-fiction books, including my latest Vancouver Tree Book, on the book page.

With the world in crisis I decided to upgrade my skills. I wanted to go from writing about the environment to also reshape it. So I went back to school to learn Landscape Architecture, earning a Masters degree from UBC. I started my own company called EcoUrbanist to provide ecological design, environmental consultation and project management for clients from individuals to government agencies.

I always believed the campaigns for environmental health and social justice were the same battle. Both are political, and since politics is a numbers game, only through community can we ultimately win. So I helped found Tree City, a non-profit environmental group “helping people and trees grow together.” We teamed with the Environmental Youth Alliance to create the TreeKeepers program which helped residents plant almost 9,000 trees.

I believe in life-long learning, which is why I sometimes teach. As with writing, it’s a wonderful way to figure out what I know. I started teaching part-time for Simon Fraser University’s Continuing Studies program in 2012, and more recently have joined Gaia College to help its campaign to change the way professional landscape workers and government officials use living green infrastructure to redesign cities.

Volunteers are my favourite people. Some times I’ve been lucky to be able to volunteer myself. I served as an elected member of the Vancouver Food Policy Council for five years, and represented Vancouver on the Metro Vancouver Agricultural Advisory Committee for three years. I also completed a three-year term on the Board of Directors for Heifer International, a community-building non-profit working to “end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth” in more than 50 countries.

  • [In The Miracle Tree] meet the engaging characters in the town of Fraelton. You'll laugh with them and at them. And love them. The romance will have you sighing and feeling melancholy. And you haven't met the Miracle Tree yet. It will change your way of thinking for the better. At the end of the book there is a big surprise that is totally unimaginable. It had me going to my computer to look up the town of Fraelton. I think I would like to live in a town like that with people like that.

    Amazon reader review
  • Tracey takes urban agriculture beyond just an idea and presents a lifestyle. Tracey’s excitement and passion for urban agriculture is evident in this book. The commentary was personable and the anecdotes give the book better context. It is refreshing to not only read about the importance of urban agriculture but also realistic opportunities to participate in this “food revolution".

    Amazon reader review
  • [The Mustard Seed] reminded me of a Phillip Marlowe film noir, with the main character acting like him in films, finding him to be weak and flawed but coming through in the end. Bits of Buddhism a nice touch. I could see it as a film. Four star.

    Amazon reader review
  • [Guerrilla Gardening is a] fantastic book. Weaves ecology and politics together and has a load of fun doing it. I laughed more times reading this book than I can remember. But most of all it's inspiring. We can change the screwed-up world one seed at a time. Now I'm a guerrilla gardening too and I can hardly wait to plant something.”

    Goodreads reader review
  • This gem of book not only shares a wide range of information, scientifically and culturally, about each tree described, it also tells stories...intimate stories, of trees and the neighbourhoods they live in. I highly recommend this treasure of tree knowledge and Vancouver lore, all shared through the wonderful sentients of this city. Thank you David Tracey for your dedication in the research of trees and their individual traits, and for useful information about what each one contributes to our city and our world.    

    From the Foreword – Cease Wyss T’Uy’Tanat
  • [The Earth Manifesto is] a deceptively small book (132 pages), which is much bigger on the inside…Engaged Ecology is what Ecopsychology should be about – local, personal, and reflective, but also global, communitarian, and active.

    Ecopsychology.org review
  • [The Earth Manifesto took] only two hours start to finish... and I absolutely loved it. Very clearly articulated arguments back up a reasonable and inspirational ‘everyman’s plan of action.’ Knows when to use strong language without bitterness. Stop being a victim and start fighting back, and read with an open mind.

    Goodreads.com review
  • David Tracey’s Urban Agriculture is a road map to food security, to our reconnecting to the soil and the earth, even in cities, and to reclaiming our humanity as cultivators of community while we cultivate food.

    Dr. Vandana Shiva scientist, environmental activist
  • [Urban Agriculture] is an antidote to despair.

    Rebecca Alexander – University of Washington Botanical Gardens Elisabeth C. Miller Library
  • Tracey takes urban agriculture beyond just an idea and presents a lifestyle. Tracey’s excitement and passion for urban agriculture is evident in this book. The commentary was personable and the anecdotes give the book better context. It is refreshing to not only read about the importance of urban agriculture but also realistic opportunities to participate in this “food revolution.”

    Amazon reader review
  • Guerrilla Gardening is an awesome book for those already interested in beautifying the urban landscape but also a good book to give to friends, especially if you want to plant a seed in someone’s head.

    Erin Kobayashi – Broken Pencil Magazine
  • [Guerrilla Gardening is a] fantastic book. Weaves ecology and politics together and has a load of fun doing it. I laughed more times reading this book than I can remember. But most of all it's inspiring. We can change the screwed-up world one seed at a time. Now I'm a guerrilla gardening too and I can hardly wait to plant something.

    Goodreads reader review
  • [Guerrilla Gardening] is full of great quotes, sidebars, lists and tips. Enough to keep the most ADD of us interested and inspired. I see urban landscapes and abandoned places in a whole new light when I can imagine them becoming life-giving gardens.

    Lucas Land – Sustainable Traditions
  • [In The Miracle Tree] meet the engaging characters in the town of Fraelton. You'll laugh with them and at them. And love them. The romance will have you sighing and feeling melancholy. And you haven't met the Miracle Tree yet. It will change your way of thinking for the better. At the end of the book there is a big surprise that is totally unimaginable. It had me going to my computer to look up the town of Fraelton. I think I would like to live in a town like that with people like that.

    Amazon reader review
  • [The Mustard Seed] reminded me of a Phillip Marlowe film noir, with the main character acting like him in films, finding him to be weak and flawed but coming through in the end. Bits of Buddhism a nice touch. I could see it as a film. Four star.

    Amazon reader review
  • I would like to voice my gratitude for the role you played in helping this project come to fruition. You were a kind of glue which tied us all together. I appreciated the flexibility you showed in working with the various obstacles and changes which happened throughout.

    Jim Leyden – Little Black Bear Warrior
  • The garden is beautiful – even yesterday [a resident] told me that he found the space so breath taking and peaceful.  He said there was no space like this in the DTES.  He plans on using the garden more often to meditate and bring peace to his every growing anxiety.

    Sandy MacKeigan – Community Programmer
  • You have been remarkable in your patience and openness to go with all of the delays and bureaucratic red tape that surrounded this project. It has been more than worth it for the community and I hope you know that we really needed you and your expertise or it still would not be complete.

    Ethel Whitty – Carnegie Centre Director
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