Campaign plants seeds for celebration

Saanich nursery helping distribute 150 trees across region to help mark Canada’s 150th anniversary

Linda Geggie with the Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable and Le Coteau Nursery owner Rob Harris stand with some of the fruit trees that will be distributed to help celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.

A new campaign promises to provide a living and lasting tribute to Canada’s 150th anniversary.

Le Coteau Nursery is partnering with the Good Food Network and Capital Regional District to distribute 150 fruit and nut trees across the region in celebration of Canada’s birthday.

“It’s Canada’s 150th and I thought it would be a neat way to get the word out about putting food in people’s yards and parks and things,” said Le Coteau Nursery owner Rob Harris.

The nursery will provide the trees and shrubs to local governments, schools, First Nations and community organizations across the Capital Region. Interested groups and organizations have until April 3 to apply to take part in the initiative.

“It’s just to raise awareness of the sustainability aspect of putting fruit trees in parks and public spaces,” said Harris, adding the trees or shrubs must be planted in areas accessible to the public so everyone can enjoy the benefits.

Linda Geggie, the executive director with the Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable that oversees the Good Food Network, is especially pleased at the prospect of having schools involved in the initiative.

“Seeing food being produced right in front of their eyes, it’s exciting,” said Geggie, adding the program can help support education on food security issues. “Food doesn’t just come from the grocery stores, it’s actually grown. This is a visible reminder of that, and of our relationship to the land.”

She said while Canada is marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the history of growing, cultivating, gathering and being sustained by the land goes back even further, helping to link the project to the traditional knowledge of the area’s First Nations.

The campaign will also serve to help beautify the region’s parks, schools and public spaces, with the trees serving as a tribute to Canada long after the 150th celebrations are over.

“Hopefully they can get us to the 200th [anniversary],” said Harris.

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