By Kevin J Sabo
For the Independent
On a cool Sept. 12 about 50 people came out to celebrate the kickoff of Stettler’s Community Orchard in the green space east of the mall.
The Stettler community orchard has been a work in progress over the last several months and features more than 200 trees and about 1,200 perennial flowers. There is still a small amount of work to complete on phase 1 of the project, but it is essentially complete. Phase 2, which will consist of another 550 plants and trees has been started as well and will be finished off in the spring of 2019.
Robert Spencer, chair of the Heartland Beautification Committee, has spent countless hours along with his family and other volunteers to get the project where it is today.
“It’s been a long time in coming,” he said.
The project would not have been possible if not for the tremendous community sponsorship. Sixty-six separate sponsors are listed on the boards that have been put up at each end of the orchard, and TD Financial was on hand with a donation from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation for $10,000. Baker Hughes was also in attendance to present a cheque for $1,850 to the project.
A free barbecue was held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., which was followed by a speech from Spencer and a short statement from Stettler Mayor Sean Nolls prior to the cutting of the ribbon marking the opening of the orchard. In the environmentally friendly theme of the evening, the ribbon was made of corn husks wrapped around a small metal core to give it strength.
Al King, one of the town employees at the event said, “In 15 years this place is going to be amazing.”
The residents of Stettler will have this unique attraction to enjoy for years to come.