Residents asked to dig into growing trend

May 10, 2016

Residents asked to dig into growing trend

From community gardens to beekeeping, urban agriculture is a “growing” trend across North America’s urban areas. In Strathcona County, residents, businesses and community groups are being asked to share their vision on urban agriculture.

The County is developing a made-in-Strathcona County urban agriculture strategy as part of the Agriculture Master Plan. During the first phase, which runs to the end of June, resident input will be gathered to find out which topics should be explored as the strategy is developed. 

“Agriculture continues to be an integral part of Strathcona County,” says Mayor Roxanne Carr. “I encourage rural and urban residents, our agriculture community and other businesses to get involved in the discussion on how urban agriculture will work best for our unique, specialized municipality.”

The project team has already met with community members and groups interested in urban agriculture, and will hold open houses and engagement sessions in the County’s nine hamlets, including: 

  • May 11, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Ottewell Barn open house
  • May 12, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. North Cooking Lake open house
  • May 18, 5:30 – 7 p.m. Hastings Lake open house
  • May 18, 7:30 – 9 p.m. South Cooking Lake open house
  • May 19, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Antler Lake open house
  • May 31 at Deville Hall Farmers Market
  • June 1, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Baseline Farmers’ Market
  • June 8, 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. Sherwood Park Farmers’ Market
  • June 11 at Rural Living Days, Strathcona Olympiette Centre
  • June 16, 4:00 – 7:30 p.m. Salisbury Farmers’ Market
  • July 1, Canada Day at Broadmoor Lake

 

Full list of dates and locations

An online survey is also available. Residents can sign up for the Let’s Talk: Urban Agriculture e-newsletter for updates on engagement opportunities and the urban agriculture strategy development.  

Urban agriculture – the practice of cultivating food in an urban area - has been identified as an important strategy in Strathcona County’s Agriculture Master Plan. It can include growing fruits, herbs and vegetables, or raising animals, and is a growing trend in North America as communities look for ways to increase food security. These practices support local, alternate choices to the traditional food system, and allow communities to grow niche foods.

Many activities go along with growing food in urban areas, including farmer’s markets, using rainwater in the garden and composting. Urban agriculture supports a sense of community – from education to community group activities. 

The Animal Control Bylaw will be reviewed as part of the urban agriculture strategy development. Topics to be explored, such as the suitability of livestock production, or livestock as pets within our urban areas, may require changes to the Animal Control Bylaw.

 

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