NEAT plants seeds of change in Fort St. John community

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Northern Environmental Action Team (NEAT) is giving back to the community of Fort St. John by planting seeds of change.

Last year, NEAT launched ‘Seeds of Change’ which is a garden sponsorship program. They ended up growing and donating food from 18 local garden beds. The food raised went to the Salvation Army and the Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society.

Karen Mason-Bennett with NEAT says last year was more a test run to see how the project would do.

“We kicked it off last year. It was kind of a ‘see how it goes’ and it went fairly well.”

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3 schools currently have garden space while 2 more will also be participating this year.

“Central, Robert Ogilvie and Duncan Cran have existing gardens and they have approximately  26 beds at each school.  There is a garden bed for each of the classrooms in the school and then we ensured that there were 12 beds leftover. 6 of them grow food for the food bank and those are the beds that are up for sponsorship this year and then 6 of them are available for the community gardens if anyone in the neighbourhood would like to purchase a space in that area and don’t want to travel to the main location.”

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Mason-Bennett says they will be adding Alwin Holland Elementary school to the list this year. As for the 5th school, that is still being finalized.

“We will have up to 30 beds available for sponsorship this year all of which will be growing food for the Salvation Army and Women’s Resource Society.”

The money that comes from sponsoring a bed goes to facilitating the process of harvesting, maintaining and watering. Any money leftover will go into the main food security budget.

NEAT says it is a hard to pinpoint exactly how much food was donated as a result of 2016’s campaign but there was roughly 30-40 large bags of produce that was donated.

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They plan to plant at the end of May and then they will harvest everything in September.

Sponsorship options are as follows:

  • One garden bed – $200
  • Two garden beds and one tree – $500
  • All sponsors will be recognized through signage on the beds or trees

If you would like more information on the ‘Seeds of Change’ campaign or would like to sponsor, contact Karen at (250) 785-6328 or karen@neat.ca.

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