Fundraising efforts continue for a new beautification project east of the Stettler Mall.
The Heartland Beautification Committee is gathering donations from the public since last fall to raise money to build the Stettler Community Orchard.
In an update provided to the public on May 4, the board decided to split the project into two phases, in an effort to get plants in the ground this spring for phase one.
“We’re rolling ahead,” said Rob Spencer, chair of the Heartland Beautification Committee. “We didn’t get our large grant for $50,000, but we did manage to secure a $10,000 TD Friends of the Environment grant.”
The committee went back to the budget to find core things they want to accomplish.
“We’ve broken it into two phases,” said Spencer. “A south section, which is two-thirds of the overall area, and a north section that will be left bare until we have enough money to do the material.”
“The budget for Phase I is sitting at $48,000 without any discounts for plant materials. We budgeted for plant material at retail price so there wouldn’t be any surprises. At this point, we’ve raised $36,000, so we’re getting close enough to do every aspect of phase one.
“We’re still planning on doing both parts, and shooting for the upper-end budget of $70,000,” he added. “We’ve had over 40 sponsors sign up already, and we’re still looking for fundraising from community businesses, groups and individuals.”
Mulch for the trees was ordered and is piled up between the north and south sections of the orchard. Site preparation is next on the list, as posts and holes need to be dug. Residents can then expect to see plants going into the ground by the end of May or early June.
“We’re looking at just over 200 trees and shrubs for the south section, and just under 1,100 perennial plants. The south section will also have a lattice fence, vines, ornamental trees, lots of trees and fruiting shrubs, along with perennials and pathways.
“Then we’re planning for another 560 shrubs and flowers in the north section. This will be simpler layout with three rows of fruiting shrubs, and a perennial border that we may look to do next spring if we are unable to raise the full amount this year.”