Tony Mauro (left) of TD Bank Group, presents a $300,000 donation to KPU Farm on Sept. 13, received by Randall Heidt, vice president, external affairs at KPU.
Photo courtesy Kwantlen Polytechnic University
TD Bank Group investment in KPU Farm to open doors to community
Published 11:19 PDT, Wed September 13, 2023
A $300,000 grant from TD Bank Group will boost community engagement opportunities at a Richmond teaching and research farm operated by Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU).
Site enhancement projects, art installation activities, and enhanced programming are all part of a new three-year program at KPU Farm announced today.
"We're so proud to support the KPU Farm as it expands its work to tackle food insecurity, advance reconciliation and foster environmental stewardship," says Tony Mauro, district vice president for Richmond-South Vancouver-South Delta, TD Bank Group. "Through the TD Ready Commitment, our corporate citizenship platform, we're investing in organizations focused on enhancing and activating green spaces that help build stronger, more resilient communities."
The donation from the TD Ready Commitment will kickstart a number of new initiatives at KPU Farm, including a volunteer program, the formation of a KPU Learning Gardens Community Board, an Indigenous voices self-guided tour, the development of a publicly-accessible food forest, an outdoor demonstration kitchen, a farmers market stand, accessible resting spots, and a willow dome and children's wildflower garden.
Improving local food security is a particular focus of the projects, which aim to promote awareness around sustainable food production, and increase access to affordable, healthy food for local residents.
"This funding will allow us to create engaging public green spaces at KPU Farm and facilitate dialogue with the community about the importance of sustainable agriculture and ecological land stewardship. We are appreciative of TD's investment in our programs that foster community resilience and food security through education, dialogue, and regional food production," says Rebecca Harbut, chair of the sustainable agriculture and food systems program at KPU.
KPU Farm, located on the Garden City Lands near the KPU Richmond campus, is a unique urban agricultural learning space that began operation in 2018 to foster a shared vision between KPU's department of sustainable agriculture and the City of Richmond. KPU leases eight hectares (20 acres) of the Garden City Lands from the City of Richmond for the certified organic farm. Students study and practice at the farm while working toward their bachelor of applied science in sustainable agriculture.
KPU Farm also features a Learning Garden—a space created to facilitate community engagement while opening the land to the wider community of Richmond. The farm also provides industry partners with opportunities to collaborate on research and demonstration projects.