Autism foundation receives $2K grant to grow edible hedge

·2 min read
The Stars for Life foundation has received a micro grant to plant a fruit hedge this spring (CBC  - image credit)
The Stars for Life foundation has received a micro grant to plant a fruit hedge this spring (CBC - image credit)

A Prince Edward Island autism foundation has received $2,000 from the City of Charlottetown to create a fruit hedge for its clients at Beach Grove.

Ron Casey, the executive director of Stars for Life Foundation, said the hedge will help keep clients engaged and safe.

"We've got some of our clients sort of wander, so we're hoping to put some trees and shrubs around the yard, and they'll keep our clients in the yard. We don't want to put a fence or anything like that," he said.

Stars for Life was founded in 2002 to foster long term needs and special education for young people with autism spectrum disorder.

Fruit hedge plans have raised spirits

Casey said the pandemic period has been tough for the foundation due to relocating to a smaller building, but the fruit hedge will bring some joy.

"Our clients were really excited when we heard that we got the grant," he said.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the foundation doesn't have guests visit its centre anymore. It hopes to have open houses again in the future.

"We'd love to invite the public over some year in the fall to see our clients taking the apples or pears, or whatever off the tree and maybe have a little demonstration of making some kind of jam or marmalade," Casey said.

He said the foundation is collaborating with the P.E.I. Farm Centre to help select which plants to grow.

"The Farm Centre they're volunteering to help us out so well definitely take the advice from them because they're the experts."

Stars for Life aims to begin planting this June, and hopes to have some of the hedges bear fruit this fall.

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