Fort St. John city councillors voted Monday to spend nearly $10,000 from a corporate donation for COVID-19 on trees and shrubs and gardening workshops.
NorthRiver Midstream gave the city $10,000 for initiatives during the pandemic, which council approved to spend on promoting community food security.
Of the funds, $5,000 will be spent to produce free video workshops “throughout the gardening season to support people as they start and expand their gardening knowledge,” Naomi Gallant, community development co-ordinator, wrote in a report to council.
The Northern Environmental Action Team is proposed to co-ordinate the productions, which would include a range of experts and topics including soil management, seeding, and canning and fermenting.
There was some debate among council about whether such a large chunk of the funds should be spent on the videos.
But Coun. Trevor Bolin said food safety and security are hot topics with the ongoing pandemic. He said the workshops would both teach residents how to sustain themselves, and stretch the NorthRiver donation into months and years.
“That’s pivotal,” Bolin said.
Another $3,000 will be spent on increasing the “edible landscape” on city property for residents to harvest fruit and produce.
Another $1,000 will be spent on a tree bed to be established at the fire hall, and dedicated in honour of essential workers during the pandemic.
The final $1,000 will be spent on a drive-in movie event.
Gallant said the donation given to the city to spend at its discretion.
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