In June 2021, the City of Wetaskiwin’s Public Works department planted 41 fruit-bearing trees and shrubs in Montgomery Park (53 Street and Centennial Drive).
Wetaskiwin’s urban food forest came to be thanks to Councillor Gabrielle Blatz – who highlighted the benefits of urban forests during the March 9, 2020 council meeting.
Urban food forests are designed using the permaculture guild system – which selects tress and shrubs that will regrow year after year without replanting.
“I think it’s great that we can offer fresh fruit to our community members through something as simple as growing it ourselves,” said Mayor Tyler Gandam. “We can all look forward to grabbing an apple or a few raspberries while using the park or as we pass through on the trail."
Urban food forests have grown in popularity across North America – with other Alberta communities such as Edmonton and Red Deer planting their own food forests. These forests stand alongside their natural counterparts, offering urban carbon sequestration, wildlife and pollinator habitats, water retention, and of course, food.
The urban forests' 41 fruit trees should offer a bountiful harvest full of variety within a few years for everyone to enjoy.
For more information or to volunteer to help plant some trees, contact the Public Works department at 780.361.4436 or email@example.com.