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.