Residents in the Alberni Valley could soon become more educated on horticultural literacy and broaden their gardening skills through a new initiative from the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District’s (ACRD) Agriculture Development Committee.
The Grow-Local program is a new grant opportunity through the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC that offers 10 B.C. communities up to $25,000 over two years to help support districts to grow locally.
“This grant opportunity can help to increase the amount of food produced by residents in the regional district by providing practical tools to increase horticultural literacy in the area,” said Heather Shobe, ACRD agricultural support worker at an Oct. 24 council meeting.
“We’ve had a late opportunity to apply for the grant…and we’d really like to see Port Alberni’s support on the application.”
The ACRD Agriculture Development Committee meets monthly with a mandate of implementing the 2011 ACRD Agriculture Plan and increasing food sovereignty in the region.
Shobe stated that although the committee is still fleshing out the application, project outcomes may include educational demonstration events at a local farm, individual and group consultations on horticultural advice related to food production, food garden tours, regular educational articles in local media, an implementation of a “Grow-Tub” program in West Coast and offshore First Nation’s communities and teaching kids gardening skills.
“The ACRD is seeking partners and leverage for this project,” Shobe said. “The deadline for the submission of our application is Nov. 4.”
Port Alberni city council will provide a letter of support for the ACRD grant application to the Grow-Local program.