Langara College students promotes chickens to help the environment

Their projects bring new ways to improve the environment


Reported by Lisa Tanh

Langara’s environmental studies students will be showcasing their projects to help Vancouver become the greenest city in the world – one of which aims to raise awareness on the benefits of backyard chickens in the city.

Drake Carruthers and Allison Robertson, are among the 14 students who will be presenting their projects at CityStudio’s ninth HUBBUB event at City Hall on Dec. 1. Their project focuses on chickens in the city since they believe not many people know about it. In 2010, the city passed a bylaw allowing backyard chickens to help people become more involved in their food production.

“We are urbanizing chickens, essentially,” Carruthers said. “It goes against heavy industrialized farming which I’m opposed to and I feel like that’s a jab at that industry.”

Mike Smith-Cairns, a geography instructor at Langara, said the project speaks to a much bigger issue which is an overall disconnect from the source of their food.

“The idea around this group’s project is that they want people to have more of a connection with where their food is coming from,” Smith-Cairns said. “Hopefully, that will spiral into something.”

Robertson said the project will involve going to a farmer’s market, having a table with posters and brochures and allowing people to meet the chickens.

“Our project is you go to a farmer’s market and you have a table with posters and brochures to talk about it and then have real chickens there. So people can meet them. ‘Cause I know when I first met a chicken, I was like ‘Omg, it’s kind of scary.'” Robertson said.

CityStudio gives students the opportunity to create projects with faculty and City of Vancouver staff that directly contribute to the city’s Greenest City Action Plan and Healthy City Strategy.




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