Spruce Grove asked to look at community orchard

Councillor Erin Stevenson pitches project

The City of Spruce Grove is being asked to look at a potential community orchard.

Councillor Erin Stevenson put forward a notice of motion on Monday, asking staff to report back on some possibilities for the project.

She says she's looking for more information in a couple areas.

"There's some things that we need the city to look at. The location is one of them, the cost, a risk assessment and stuff like that, and how we would roll that out," she said.

"But we're pretty excited to be able to start offering these types of community initiatives that don't cost much, and that the return on investment in the future is going to be huge."

Stevenson says her motion was inspired by the Spruce Grove & District Agricultural Heritage Society's community garden.

"Members of the community will help with the upkeep. And if fruit is falling to the ground, or depending on the blossoms in the spring, people are willing to come out and help keep the community clean and tidy," she said.

"We're going to start to see that self-sustaining concept of community really caring about this and moving it forward."

She says there are locations being mulled over, but nothing has been finalized yet.

"The Mayor in particular seems to know every inch of green space, so he's got a couple of ideas that we're going to put forward as a concept," she said.

"One of the ideas was potentially maybe within the community garden itself, or around there. But there are a few other green patches within the city that, as part of the notice of motion, (administration) will bring that back to us to say that these are some potential locations."

This week's meeting also featured a notice of motion from Councillor Dave Oldham.

He wants the city to look at moving $25,000 out of council's annual contingency fund, and into community policing.

That contingency fund is budgeted with $75,000 each year.

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