Trail’s green route plays into Earth Day

“This initiative will be a way to savour Trail from a different perspective,” said Gina Ironmonger.

An incrEDIBLE opportunity to join in environmental stewardship is growing in the downtown Trail business community.

“Explore our incrEDIBLE trail” launched last month after the city green-lighted a Communities in Bloom committee to invite downtown businesses to grow food and not just flowers in their storefronts this summer.

Adding sustainable elements such as herbs, tomatoes and peppers to the city’s landscape is a two-fold venture and plays into the 44-year global tradition of April 22 being celebrated as Earth Day.

The first Earth Day was organized in 1970 to highlight growing concern over pollution of air, soil and water and to give opportunity to learn ways to live in a more environmentally responsible fashion.

While many Earth Day events garner attention with one-day tree planting sessions or park clean-up excursions, the day is really about finding ways to encourage long-term “green” solutions.

Although the incrEDIBLE green route is meant to draw foot traffic through the downtown by inviting people to take a walk and pick free-of-charge produce from planters, the heart of the initiative is about growing food and supporting local food security and sustainability in the Silver City.

“This initiative will be a way to savour Trail from a different perspective,” said Gina Ironmonger, a spearhead of the green initiative.

“Hopefully, this one project will lead to other projects with people working together (the rich, the poor, the old to the very young),” she explained.  “Providing good local food for all in a more sustainable environment naturally supports local agriculture and local business.”

So far, 50 companies and services committed to nurturing edible gardens instead of seasonal flora in their storefront planters and they will be part of a “Green Route” map that will guide visitors through the downtown.

One of the first on board was Sabine Mann, owner of Women’s Journey To Fitness on Spokane Street. Two gym members who are incrEDIBLE volunteers, approached her with the idea and offered their planting expertise.

“I think it’s a beautiful way of getting people to walk through downtown,” said Mann. “And a good way to get people to stop and check out the businesses on our quiet street,” she said. “It’s also a great idea that if somebody is hungry and the vegetables are ready, they can pick it and take it.”

With so many local businesses eager to plant vegetables, incrEDIBLE volunteers have been working on a larger scale idea, which is to grow edible landscape in front of the United Steelworkers Local 480 Union Hall on Portland Street.

The location is ideal because across the street in the Greater Trail Community Centre, Selkirk College runs a cookery course that has students serving daily lunch specials using fresh fruit and vegetables.

“We can teach people to grow over the summer when the program is closed and maintain the garden until the fall session and donate the food,” said Ironmonger. “This is a good all around thing because we can promote interaction between organizations and teach food sustainability and food security working with all factions in the community.”

Additionally, seven edible planters will be placed around the old Eagle’s parking lot to welcome Market on the Esplanade visitors into the downtown.

Although additions are welcome year round, the cut-off deadline for the green route map advertising is May 15, and the goal is to have all planters on the route by May 24, added Ironmonger.

For more information call 368.6855 or email registration to incredibletrail@gmail.com.

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