The City of Lacombe is promoting sustainability while combating food insecurity with the edible garden pilot program.   

In the past, the city has planted edible plants but wanted to create designated areas where the plants would be available.   

“Helping out at the community level is certainly something that we would like to do and of course normally the focus is around planting flowers. But, doing something like this allows people to enjoy a harvest multiple times during the course of the year,” said Guy Lapointe Director of Community Services. “It's a small thing the community can do to support local.”  

Garden locations include Popow’s Park, Lacombe Memorial Centre, Michener House Museum, Burris Point, Henner’s Pond Park, and Elizabeth Lake, and C&E Trail.  

Plants include a variety of berries, shrubs, rhubarb, pears, apples, and more.   

“It’s plants that are indigenous to Alberta, so they will fit in well with the environment, we're not looking to have one-offs at this point,” Lapointe said.   

City workers will maintain the gardens regularly and ensure the plants are healthy and vibrant.   

"They will make sure that they’re flourishing and are available for the public to access whenever the fruit becomes available,” Lapointe said.  

He explained that the edible gardens address food security, and also utilize resources the city already provides.   

 “We did have some of these plantings already in place. This is a resource that is available, we’re transitioning from the reliance on primarily flowers,” Lapointe said. "Investing in something that comes back on an annual basis to benefit residents just seemed to be a logical choice and a way to promote sustainability within the community.”  

Since the city announced the pilot program, the city has received a lot of positive feedback from residents.   

“We want to hear from residents that if this is something they like, we would certainly look at expanding the resource in the future,” Lapointe said.