It’s been a truly exciting week for the Hastings Crossing Business Improvement Association. After nearly two years of navigating the intricacies of Vancouver’s civic bureaucracy, working with various design consultants and engagement teams, planners and local community groups, Strathcona BIA and Hastings Crossing BIA enjoyed the launch of our joint Urban Tree Nursery project. Dozens of trees are now being incubated in concrete planters along Hastings Street in front of various businesses, who have all agreed to be stewards of the trees along with other community members, until they are mature enough for resale. In attendance with scores of residents and businesses were NDP MLA Jenny Kwan, Vancouver City Councillor and BIA Liaison, Heather Deal, Kelly Lam of TD Bank and Richard Walker from Tree Canada. Representing Hastings Crossing BIA was Chair of the Board of Directors, Heather O’Hara of Potluck Cafe and Catering (soon to be moving on to City Studio, but remaining on the HxBIA Board as an authorized representative). Beautiful traditional welcoming dances from local first nations neighbours opened up the festivities and educatioal presentations from Meg O’Shea and Jon Mackin, who were instrumental in bringing the project into the final stages of its launch, followed after that. There is a lot of excitement about this project, an pilot of sorts, to see if we can reforest the inner-city through entrepreneurial and community led approaches, to compliment the ongoing commitments by Parks Board and other departments at the City of Vancouver. Helping the City reach its goal of 150,000 new trees planted in Vancouver proper by 2020 as per the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan. We know this is a drop in the bucket, but it’s the way in which we have tried to monetize and manage these trees that’s most exciting, not the scale or volume of foliage itself. That being said, the trees do make an impact on the streetscape and we’re proud to see this come to life finally. Big thanks to the team at Strathcona BIA for all their work. We’re lucky, and happy, to be associated with this project and with you.