Ecology North is planning to put local berry bushes to work for the community.
Marissa Oteiza with Ecology North said the organization is going to see $4,000 of funding from Tree Canada for its Edible Tree project. The funding will go toward harvesting wild fruit and berry bushes, as well as planting and caring for new trees.
Oteiza’s goal is to harvest and share the fruit from local bushes with community organizations, such as schools and the Hay River Soup Kitchen.
“People might not know where (the fruit bushes) are, or that they can use them,” she said. “In Edmonton, people don’t even use the apples on the trees. They just go to waste.”
Over the summer, Ecology North already planted and cared for a vegetable garden and berry patch at the Chief Sunrise Education Centre on the Hay River Reserve.
Next year, Ecology North plans to team up with the Hay River Beautification Committee to plant berry bushes along the Kiwanis Nature Trail.
“The price of fruit and berries is ridiculous here,” said Oteiza. “If we can make people aware of where to pick around here, the food won’t go to waste and people can save money.”
The berry bushes planted this year will take a few seasons to establish.
“I had one raspberry this year,” said Oteiza. “But at least we know the plants are working.”