County ready to take action on urban agriculture

December 2, 2016

County ready to take action on urban agriculture

Strathcona County Council has approved the urban agriculture strategy. The County will begin in 2017 to implement strategy areas, starting with community gardens, urban livestock and school agriculture.

“Many rural and urban residents, together with our agriculture community and other businesses were engaged in discussions on how urban agriculture will work best for our unique, specialized municipality. As a result, we have a made-in-Strathcona County strategy,” says Mayor Roxanne Carr. “Our vision for urban agriculture is it becomes more visible, easily accessed and experienced. I believe there will be a growing recognition of how it contributes to creating a healthy, livable community, as we grow food, cultivate relationships and strengthen the economy.”

Over 3,700 residents shared ideas and participated in the urban agriculture strategy development. The implementation schedule for 2017 has been prioritized according to what is of greatest interest to residents.

Q1 2017- Strathcona County will have a community gardens policy in place for the 2017 growing season.

Q2 2017 - A draft chicken pilot project will be presented to Council. If accepted, revisions will then be made to the Animal Control Bylaw, incorporating federal and provincial regulations, and public health and safety and animal welfare considerations. All other animals and livestock are part of the research and considerations on a proposed new Alternative Pets Bylaw.

Q3 2017 – Research and considerations on a proposed new Alternative Pets Bylaw will be presented to Council.  Significant research is required. Considerations will include but are not limited to review of regulations, as well as prohibitions on animal species and breeds, based on size, potential safety threat if an animal escapes, level of noise and amount of waste an animal produces, potential threat to commercial agriculture, and biosecurity.

2018   - Bees, urban farms and home gardens. Revisions to the Apiculture Bylaw, addressing bees will be presented to Council. Backyard bees were not recommended in the Urban Agriculture Strategy; however, planned actions include demonstration beehives operated by professional beekeepers in low traffic urban areas.

For more information

Urban agriculture is the first strategy to be developed as part of the County’s award-winning Agriculture Master Plan.

 

Set in the centre of Alberta’s energy and agricultural heartland, Strathcona County is a thriving, successful and vibrant community of almost 96,000 residents. Strathcona County is made up of the urban area of Sherwood Park and a large adjacent rural area of farms, acreages and smaller hamlets. It is home to 75 per cent of refining in Western Canada. With a focus on economic, governance, social, cultural and environmental sustainability, Strathcona County is committed to balancing the unique needs of its diverse community.

 

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Contact:

Strathcona County Communications, 780-410-6595