Friday, Oct. 17, 2014 (Halifax, NS) – Mayor Mike Savage will join regional councillors, municipal gardeners, representatives from Halifax Diverse and community volunteers this Saturday, Oct. 18, to plant edible fruit trees and shrubs at the Dartmouth Commons, part of the Halifax region’s first urban orchard pilot project.
In 2013, Mayor Savage initiated his Conversation on a Healthy and Liveable Community, involving more than 80 stakeholders working to address public and community health issues. Those discussions identified local food production as a priority for Halifax’s municipal government in 2014/15.
Similar concerns were expressed by the public in 2012 during development of Halifax’s Urban Forest Master Plan (UFMP), which was adopted by Regional Council in September 2012.
Establishing an urban orchard pilot project was seen as a short-term, achievable goal that would contribute to progress in food security and local food consumption. As such, Regional Council passed a motion in January to develop and implement the pilot through the Healthy Communities Core Priority Areas plan.
The municipality has partnered with Halifax Diverse and Dartmouth Common Community Garden members to develop a plan and implement the pilot. More information is available at http://www.halifax.ca/property/UFMP/index.php.
Media are invited to attend the orchard planting, which gets underway at 9:30 a.m. at Leighton Dillman Park in the Dartmouth Commons. Attendees should use the park entrance off Park Avenue, near the community oven.
The public is invited to join at 10 a.m. and are encouraged to bring their own gardening clothes and tools, if they have them. Participants will have the chance to learn how to plant shrubs and trees so they have the best chance of thriving.
For those who can’t make it for the planting, the fun continues until 2 p.m. with a celebration around the community oven, which fires up at 12:30 p.m. for people to cook their own lunch.