Boreal Centre plans food, ecology projects

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Tom Summer Local Journalism Initiative, Alaska Highway News
The Local Journalism Initiative (LJI) supports the creation of original civic journalism. Tom Summer works under the Alaska Highway News in Fort St. John. The content that is produced will be made available to media organizations through a Creative Commons license so that Canadians can be better informed.

Moberly Lake’s Boreal Centre for Sustainability is looking for innovative people and organizations to partner with for a series of local food production and ecology demonstrative projects. 

The centre celebrates 20 years this summer, having been founded by local agrologist Reg Whiten in 2000 in order to protect the watershed.

“Over the last few years, we’ve continued to promote the idea of home-based green living where people can grow food and save energy,” said Whiten, noting food security has become hot topic in the wake of COVID-19.

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Community resilience is a core theme of the centre this year, says Whiten, adding they’re still in the planning phase with a University of Victoria student being hired to help facilitate the projects and partnerships.

“People can do the research, but it’s sure nice to have it packaged up,” said Whiten, adding that sharing local agricultural knowledge is also a huge focus.

Orchards are being planned in Moberly Lake, with a variety of fruits, including cherries, plums, pears, and haskap berries.

“It’s a bit of research effort, but the idea is to show people what’s possible to be cultivated,” said Whiten, noting the trees are provided through local nurseries.

Previous projects included the creation of edible landscapes, by planting Saskatoon, Elderberry, and Skunk Currant near Moberly’s welcome sign by West Centennial.

Medicine Woman Creek was also transformed into an interpretative trail with signs educating users on wild edible and medicinal plants. Plants are named in English, Cree, and Latin, accompanied by identifying pictures.

More signage is planned to go up this summer, says Whiten.

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“It’s amazing the number of plants that people might overlook or call weeds,” said Whiten.

Email reporter Tom Summer at tsummer@ahnfsj.ca.

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