The Beaverlodge Community Garden has added 13 new fruit trees to its collection for the community to enjoy.
The Town of Beaverlodge spearheaded the community garden and this most recent initiative.
Apple, plums, cherries and saskatoons will be ready to be picked by community members soon as some of the trees have already begun blooming.
The trees were planted along the fence near the arena’s parking lot on Thursday morning near the community garden.
Town councillor Gena Jones said that planting edible trees in the garden enhances the beauty of the town and provides another option for food in the community.
Jones spearheaded the project and got the funding for the project through Tree Canada.
“I spent a lot of time with a lot of help from the girls in the office, filling out the grant application, and then we were so excited to get the money,” she said.
Jones said the town recieved $3,500 from Tree Canada for the new fruit trees, which covers the purchase of the new trees and the planting.
Tree Canada is a national non-profit organization dedicated to planting and nurturing trees in rural and urban areas.
“I think that it will enhance the community garden, and it will also be useful to the schools because both Grade 6 classes study trees and the forests so they can use this information,” said Jones, a former schoolteacher.
“There are some apple trees that have three or four different kinds of apples growing on one tree,” said Jones, giving the community a variety of choices.
“I think it's a good start to refurbishing the trees in town and adding more,” she added.
Sharon Albright was one of the first volunteers at the community garden and is happy to see the garden expanding.
She said that this is the third year of the community garden.
“Hopefully, more people come and enjoy the garden,” said Albright at the tree planting.
Bernie Kowalchuk dug the holes and planted the trees.
He said that some of the trees could grow up to 15 feet tall.
When Jones happened to notice a group of young students walking by at the tree-planting session, she was quick to snag them for a photo.
She said she hopes they will see the photo in the future and recall how they grew up with the trees.
Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News