By increasing biodiversity, abundance and health in the Urban Orchard and supporting the development of healthy food environments.
By providing resources and supports to program participants, volunteers and staff to help them become leaders in food systems change.
This is more than just food. By providing opportunities for people to learn and interact with the local food system, we are changing the way the community lives, thinks, and eats in Greater Victoria. When you collect dirt under your fingernails gardening, or feel sunshine warm your shoulders in an orchard, or bite into a fresh picked fruit and let the juice drip down your chin, you are grounded in a shift that strengthens our connections with each other and the natural world.
Sarah is a writer from the Prairies currently living as an uninvited guest on the unceded Coast Salish Territories of the W_SÁNEC peoples. She holds a bachelor's degree in professional communication from MacEwan University and a master's in creative writing from the University of Victoria. Her favourite fruit are apples (simple, yet delicious). She loves dogs, astrology, and house plants.
Alex is grateful to be part of the team at LifeCycles! She is passionate about working to help create healthy communities through the lens of food security. Her favourite days at LifeCycles are Fruit Sorting Days with our incredible group of volunteer sorters. She is currently completing her Pollinator Stewardship Certification with the Island Pollinator Initiative and dreaming up new ways to introduce pollinator friendly habitat in urban spaces both big and small.
Maasa is a grower and enjoyer of good food. She has a background in organic farming and permaculture, and has had her hands in soil all around the world. Her home, however, has always been on this coast. Through her work with LifeCycles and the Seed the City program, Maasa manages micro-farm sites on school grounds. Here she gets to fill her days with her two great loves: growing food and sharing the joy of growing food with her community.
Leah Seltzer is excited to be working with LifeCycles where she can weave together her passions for gardening, youth empowerment, and community engagement. In 2008, Leah participated in the Linnaea Farm Ecological Gardening Program on Cortes Island. Since then, she has been an avid food grower, wild crafter, and herbal medicine maker. She believes in the therapeutic value of learning from nature and brings 10+ years of experience in leading transformative programs for youth. Leah is passionate about creating mentorship opportunities for young people to grow and learn in schoolyard gardens and farms. She is excited to be building the Seed the City project as we work towards a more resilient and equitable food system.
Tim’s early life was spent on an array of isolated farms scattered across the Northern Interior. He discovered a profound curiosity about how natural, social and cultural systems interrelate to provide our ‘food.’ Tim spent his post-farm life exploring Europe and North Africa and studying the “history of systems of thought” in the Political Science department at UVIC.
In recent years, Tim has focused his Political, Urban, Anthropological, Historical, and Philosophical questions through the problem of sustainable ‘food systems.’ Tim has been closely involved in the creation and expansion of “Ranfurly Farm,” the intergenerational enterprise started by his family in 2009. He also became interested in how such practices as wild fermenting and urban foraging, aquatic gardening and aquaponic systems, food foresting and mushroom cultivation, guerrilla gardening and public propagation can close gaps in accessibility and enjoyment.
More hedonistic and experimental tendencies has inspired Tim to co-found a collective of chefs, bartenders, theatre practitioners, graphic and visual artists, farmers, and foragers to stage a series of culinary-oriented popup events that experiments with news ways for food and culture to produce community.
Haneen was born and raised on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, and the Métis Nation (Region 3), and have been grateful to learn and live on lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ lands for the last few years. Haneen recently graduated with a bachelor's degree in Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. They are excited to be spending their time supporting the Seed the City youth program at LifeCycles.Haneen has always been drawn to decolonizing food systems through cultural revitalization - a passion seeded by land stewards in their family. During their childhood, Haneen would follow their grandmother around her garden and watch her tend to all sorts of culturally-important plants. Their dream is to one day create a community garden for BIPOC where people can gather, learn, and reconnect with their lineage through cultivating ancestral foods.
Megan grew up on Syilx lands in the South Okanagan, where she developed a deep appreciation for the magic of orchards, vineyards, and sharing fresh fruit. Her background is rooted in geography, agriculture, and environmental education, and she has volunteered with a variety of social justice organizations. Megan is a lifelong learner, ever curious about the plants and people that make up the urban orchard, and she is grateful to continually be learning more about what responsible stewardship can look like.
Joan’s life-long passion for growing and eating healthy food aligns perfectly with her role as the
Executive Director of LifeCycles Project Society. She came to LifeCycles after over a decade as the
Executive Director of York Region Food Network where she led a committed team in advocating for
income responses to food insecurity and developing healthy food projects as a catalyst for building
strong and vibrant communities.
Joan has a background in business, with degrees from the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto. She moved into the social service realm after spending several years at home raising her four children. Joan is delighted to be back in her home province and to be working with the dedicated team at LifeCycles
Amira brings her passion for organic gardening, experiential education and youth facilitation to the LifeCycle's team. Her passion for hands-on place-based education began with a summer student position with the Galiano Conservancy Association, where she led environmental workshops in the beautiful Southern Gulf Islands and the Salish Sea. The connections created between urban students and nature, and their interactions with their local environment, is what fuels her passion for teaching and creating the environmental stewards of tomorrow. Her background as an Environmental Educator for Sierra Club BC allows her to bring her wealth of experience to the Growing Schools Program. When she's not sharing knowledge with youth, you can find her enjoying hikes, bikes, and making art.
Jess joined LifeCycles’ board of directors in 2018. He learned about LifeCycles while picking apples in the community and was quickly drawn to this valuable work. Jess started his career with the BC Public Service in 2001 and has held multiple roles in the past 20 years in the justice and public safety sector. His education includes a Bachelor of Social Work and Masters of Business Administration. Jess looks forward to continuing involvement with LifeCycles’ board and advancing the organization’s important mandate in the community.
Hannah is a 4th year Environmental Studies student at the University of Victoria. Within her studies, she is particularly interested in localized food systems, social responses to climate crisis, and education for sustainability. Hannah has worked for 5 years as an Outdoor Educator, and has been involved in food justice work through the Community Cabbage and the Compost Education Centre.
Rhianna is a mom, a community-engaged researcher, and a fan of individual and collective behaviour change towards reduced consumerism. Rhianna graduated from the Global Resource Systems BSc Program at UBC in 2007. Through that program she discovered her passion for sustainable food production and food politics and built her skills and knowledge in in this area through courses, practicums and farming internships. Later, she greatly enjoyed working with the Environmental Youth Alliance as a coordinator, building gardens and developing programs for food system engagement in Vancouver. She is very pleased to be supporting this work at Lifecycles. Rhianna is finishing her MA with the Community Based Research Lab in UVic Geography. She works at the Institute for Studies and Innovation in Community University Engagement at UVic, assisting with community-engaged programs and research.
Katie grew up in Saanich, on the unceded Coast Salish Territories of the W_SÁNEC peoples. She's passionate about food, the outdoors, caring for the land and helping things grow. She completed her PhD research in neurophysiology and exercise rehabilitation. She also has an interest in nutrition and human health, and has worked as a university lecturer and in health course administration. You may see her around town on the family cargo bike, with her two kids on the back in their rain pants.
Grown from seeds first planted in 1994.
On an international youth exchange program in Santiago, Chile, our founding members learned about the links between globalization, the corporatization of food systems, environmental degradation, and food security. The program in Chile worked with local organizations to develop projects that would enhance the quality of life within urban communities. Our founders wondered how they could do the same thing at home, and from there the idea for the LifeCycles Project grew.
Our first project was the development of community gardens, tended by youth, whose harvests supplied local soup kitchens. Since then, our programs have grown to include a number of interrelated initiatives that address urban sustainability and food security by offering practical, accessible and hopeful solutions.
While “Think Globally, Act Locally” seems simplistic, it is still the best model for social and environmental action. This is one of our founding principles and it is why we have endured as one of Victoria’s best-loved community organizations for over 25 years. Local action, rooted within the community, is the most effective way to create change.