We would like to congratulate Mr. Ryan Mason and Ms. Cathryn Sprague for receiving an Alumni Innovation Award for their contributions to urban agriculture and food sustainability!
Ms. Cathryn Sprague is also a former member of the Sustainable Food Edmonton Board of Directors. She served for two years and was an integral member of our team. During her tenure, she served on several committees and helped develop SFE to the organization that it is today.
The Alumni Innovation Award recognizes University of Alberta alumni that have significantly impacted their profession, community, the U of A, or society at large by developing an innovative program, process or product.
Ryan Mason, ’09 BA, ’15 MSc, and Cathryn Sprague, ’09 BCom, ’14 MSc, met during graduate studies at thw U of A’s Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences as they worked on master’s degrees in environmental sociology.
With a shared passion for gardening and food security, Mason and Sprague decided to reclaim vacant urban land and use the space for growing food in an effort to improve the local food system. They studied intensive agriculture, invested in equipment and began reclaiming land in May 2014. Reclaim Urban Farm Inc. was born.
Mason and Sprague work 15 plots of land borrowed from community partners throughout the Edmonton region. They focus on growing nutritious food with the lowest environmental impact and on educating local communities. They plant every week year-round, including micro-greens indoors during the winter. They harvest on average 45 kilograms per week, easily doubling or tripling that during the summer months. Reclaim shares its produce with its partners and supplies the City Market Downtown, retail locations and several Edmonton, Alberta restaurants.
The Alumni Association invites all community members to celebrate this outstanding alumnus’ accomplishments and those of 26 other award recipients at the 2016 Alumni Awards.