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Beginning in 2010, the City of Red Deer, has made an effort to see more edible landscape components incorporated into neighbourhood sites, where appropriate. A good example of this is in Timberstone central park site where the City’s Parks Department has worked in apples, haskaps, saskatoons, etc. into planting beds. The Centennial planting along the north hill has also incorporated edible landscaping.
Interest is growing as well! Parkside Community Food Forest, initiated in 2013, was the first edible food forest within Red Deer. This food forest was incorporated into an existing community garden site and signage was done up to identify the presence of both privately managed garden plots and the public food forest. This project was led by The City and supported through Tree Canada grant funding along with donations from local nurseries and manpower from community volunteers and local groups (such as Rethink Red Deer).
Since 2013 several other capitally funded smaller orchards and food forests have popped up across the city including Mountview/Sunnybrook Community Orchard, Lancaster Community Orchard, Central Food Forest and Waskasoo Community Orchard. Some of these orchards/food forests were added to existing community garden sites and others are stand alone. The City presently maintains these sites with support from each garden/orchard committee. Garden committees and community volunteers help with watering, weeding and other site maintenance requirements.
Learn more about community gardens in Red Deer here.