Town of Stettler councillors saw first hand the blossoming Community Orchard on the east side of the mall.
Heartland Beautification Committee Chair Robert Spencer gave council a tour of the orchard after council’s regular meeting Aug. 21. The orchard is on about one acre of land and when both phases are finished will have everything from apples, pears, sour cherries, Saskatoons and raspberries to currants and blue honeysuckle.
“We’ve basically finished Phase I and pieces of Phase II,” said Spencer.
Irrigation, water service and some plants have been partially planted or ordered. The rest of the plants for Phase II will be ordered in September.
The public is free to pick from the orchard. There will be seasonal events to make sure no fruit is wasted and there will be donations to the local food bank.
The project is being done in two phases. The first phase is complete. So far the committee has raised about $53,000. Their fundraising efforts continue for Phase II, which they estimate will cost about $20,000. The project was originally estimated to cost about $48,000 for Phase I and $20,000 for Phase II but came in under budget in the first phase.
“I have been able to do parts of it much cheaper,” said Spencer.
Donations are welcome, including cash, materials, skilled labour or discounts on materials. Anyone wanting to contribute can contact the Parks and Leisure Services office in the recreation centre or call 403-742-4411.