Urban Agriculture Strategy

2018 Urban Agriculture highlights

Here’s a snapshot of all the ways we continued to work towards the vision of the Urban Agriculture Strategy in 2018. Thanks for growing with us!

Approved in 2016, the  Urban Agriculture Strategy (20.6 MB) is the first of six strategies to be developed to support the  Agriculture Master Plan. (9.1 MB)

Image of a farmers market stand

Urban Agriculture

Urban agriculture is the practice of cultivating food in an urban area. It can be growing fruits, herbs and vegetables, or raising animals. It's a growing trend in North America as communities look for ways to increase food security. It supports local, alternate choices to the traditional food system, and allows communities to grow niche foods.

Keeping livestock in urban areas

The Urban Agriculture Strategy includes recommendations on the Animal Control Bylaw and keeping livestock in urban areas, and a proposed alternative pet bylaw. Research and considerations on a proposed new Alternative Pets Bylaw will be presented to Council.

Urban agriculture strategy focus areas

  • 1. Community gardens

    In progress: 2017

    Community gardening is the practice of growing and raising food in a shared garden space.  Visit our community gardens webpage to learn more.

  • 2. Public agriculture and edible landscaping

    Estimated start date: 2019

    Public agriculture refers to food grown in public spaces of a town or city, managed by various groups. The food is grown for everyone.

  • 3. Urban farms

    Estimated start date: 2018

    Urban farming is the commercial practice of growing and raising food within urban boundaries. 

    Urban farms can take on different shapes and sizes such as sea cans and high rise buildings.

  • 4. School agriculture program

    Estimated start date: 2017

    School agriculture programs take many forms: classroom garden, growing demonstrations, community gardens, horticultural training gardens or greenhouses, vertical growing hydroponic and aquaponic systems, among others.

  • 5. Urban livestock

    In progress: 2017

    Urban livestock includes raising of chickens, bees, rabbits and animals such as small breed livestock. 

    The Urban Agriculture Strategy includes recommendations on the Animal Control Bylaw and keeping livestock in urban areas, and a proposed alternative pet bylaw.

    In May 2017, Strathcona County completed a review of local impacts of an urban chicken pilot program and determined it is not suitable for the needs of our specialized community.

    Research and considerations on a proposed new Alternative Pets Bylaw will be presented to Council.

  • 6. Home gardens

    Estimated start date: 2018

    A home garden is a small area of land or raised bed used for growing food on or around a house or apartment complex.

  • 7. Education and coordination

    Estimated start date: 2019

    Education and coordination of action will be critical to build momentum, maintain direction, and realizing a full return on invested public and private resources.

 

Implementation schedule

2017

  • Community gardens
  • School agriculture program
  • Urban livestock

2018

  • Urban farms
  • Home gardens

2019

  • Public agriculture and edible landscaping
  • Education and coordination

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. What is the Urban Agriculture Strategy vision?

    Urban agriculture is easily accessed and seen in Strathcona County; it contributes to creating a livable community by helping to grow food, relationships, and economy in our community.

  • 2. How was the implementation schedule determined?

    The implementation schedule is based on resident feedback. For example, the community gardens project is the first priority, as it has the greatest resident interest, and we want to ensure a policy is in place for the 2017 growing season. The schedule is also based on the amount of research required for developing other recommendations.

  • 3. Are chickens allowed in urban backyards?

    No. In May 2017, Strathcona County completed a review of local impacts of an urban chicken pilot program and determined it is not suitable for the needs of our specialized community.

    Backyard urban chickens was a polarizing topic during Urban Agriculture Strategy public engagement, and we therefore explored the feasibility of an urban chicken pilot project.

    Strathcona County is unique in that it has about a dozen large scale poultry producers within a 10 kilometre radius of our urban areas, including the rural hamlets and Sherwood Park. We had to consider the implications of urban chickens on our rural producers.

    Lot size, housing and population density, and distance from neighbours are all factors in livestock health. A review of urban chicken programs in other municipalities shows some programs had been disbanded due to pests, complaints, and lack of registration.

    While we will not be introducing chickens into our urban areas, residents can get local eggs from the acreages and farms in our rural areas.

  • 4. Are exotic pets and livestock now allowed in urban backyards?

    No. Council approved the Urban Agriculture Strategy, which means the County can proceed with research and considerations for a proposed new Alternative Pets Bylaw.

  • 5. What are the next steps in updating the Animal Control Bylaw?

    In May 2017, Strathcona County completed a review of local impacts of an urban chicken pilot program and determined it is not suitable for the needs of the specialized community.

    All other animals and livestock are part of the research and considerations on a proposed new Alternative Pets Bylaw. Research and considerations will be presented to Council.

  • 6. What have the steps so far been in reviewing the Animal Control Bylaw?

    The Animal Control Bylaw was reviewed as part of the Urban Agriculture Strategy development. This timing was determined to be the most efficient and cost effective, as some topics explored in development of the Urban Agriculture Strategy would potentially require changes to the Animal Control Bylaw.

  • 7. What are some of the considerations for an Alternative Pets Bylaw?

    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, and potential threat to commercial agriculture. 

  • 8. Will backyard bees be allowed in the County?

    No. 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.

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Last updated: Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Page ID: 48962