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LeafyReads CBAN Book Club


First event March 3, 2024
Featuring author Dr. Suzanne Simard

Join us for our first online book club event to discuss “Finding the Mother Tree” on Sunday, March 3rd at 11am PT/2pm ET.

We are excited to announce that author and esteemed researcher Dr Suzanne Simard will join us as we gather to discuss her book “Finding the Mother Tree”.  Dr. Simard is a pioneering forest ecologist whose work has forever changed how people view trees, their connections to one another and to other living things in the forest. Her book tracks her moving, deeply personal journey of discovery. After our chat with the author, we will break into small groups to reflect on how “Finding the Mother Tree” informs our relationship with forests and trees and our understanding of nature.

Participation is free. Click here to register.

Help us promote this unique event. Click here for the poster to share with your friends.

Suzanne Simard is a Professor of Forest Ecology at UBC and a pioneer on the frontier of plant communication and intelligence. Her work has led to the recognition that forests have hub trees, or Mother Trees, which play an important role in the flow of information and resources in a forest. Her current research investigates how these complex relationships contribute to forest resiliency, adaptability and recovery. She has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles and her TED talks have been viewed by more than 10 million people. Read more about Dr Simard and her book.

Why a book club?

Proposals to release genetically engineered (GE or genetically modified) trees and other organisms into the wild challenge us to think about our relationship with nature and how it may be impacted by new GE technology in the years to come. The March 3rd event launches our 2024 LeafyReads book club series.

  • What motivates us to protect nature?
  • What does it mean for forests if trees are genetically engineered? What does it mean for us?
  • Can GE trees be used for species restoration, or is this species replacement?
  • Why are some conservation approaches valued more than others?
  • What are our responsibilities to future generations?

Join CBAN for our 2024 book club to reflect on these big questions with other thoughtful tree-lovers from coast to coast to coast. Register here – Participation is free!

How will it work?

Together, we will read three books over the course of 2024. Each book will help us consider our relationship with nature and technology from a different angle.

In March, May, and September, we’ll gather via zoom to discuss the book club pick for that month. In October, we’ll gather one last time to discuss our final takeaways and transform our learning into collective action. Register here to make sure you receive the zoom links and session dates.

Each month, we’ll be joined by special guests to help guide our conversations and deepen our reflection as we read.

March pick: Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard
May pick: The Overstory by Richard Powers
September pick: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
October pick: Final club meeting – How do we move forward?

Register here to get information about session dates and zoom links. Participation is free!

We don’t want the cost of books to be a barrier to participation! Thanks to a generous donation, we will have book copies available for those with low or fixed incomes. Please email Kaitlyn at to request a copy of any of the 2024 book club picks.



Into the Weeds – Film Screenings

INTO THE WEEDS follows groundskeeper Dewayne “Lee” Johnson and his fight for justice against Monsanto (now Bayer). Johnson’s case was the first to go to trial in a series of lawsuits involving tens of thousands of plaintiffs claiming Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup, or its industrial counterpart Ranger Pro, contributed to their cancer. The film follows this groundbreaking trial, while also stepping back to consider the systemic effects of the world’s most widely used herbicide.

As we toggle back and forth between the detail and scale of this ubiquitous product’s impact, it becomes clear that the Johnson verdict will have global repercussions. Our anchor is always Lee: his philosophy, his struggle, and his fight for justice in the face of debilitating and terminal illness. Will Monsanto (Bayer) be forced to change Roundup’s label? To compensate the myriad victims? To address the wide-ranging ecological effects? We consider the limitations of mass torts and using the courts as a tool for social good, and the likelihood of money damages affecting the practice of a company worth billions. By telling Johnson’s story, INTO THE WEEDS ultimately considers whether this kind of David vs. Goliath fight is capable of instigating lasting and substantial change.

Modified – Film Screenings


Film poster ModifiedModified is a first-person feature documentary that questions why genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not labeled in Canada and the US, despite being labeled in 64 countries around the world. Shot over a span of ten years, the film follows the fight to label GMOs while debunking the myth that we need GMOs to “feed the world”. The film’s story is anchored in the relationship between the filmmaker and her mother, a passionate organic gardener and food activist who died of cancer during the film’s production. The film is directed and produced by award-winning producer of “Kitchen Vignettes on PBS” and food writer Aube Giroux, executive produced by acclaimed producer Camelia Frieberg, and edited by Mike Munn, editor of the Oscar-nominated “Stories We Tell”. Modified is distributed by Blue Ice Docs and will be released in September 2017. Watch the trailer.