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Castlegar launches program to match fruit trees, pickers

The City of Castlegar and WildSafeBC have launched a pilot program to reduce food waste and bear attractants.

Harvest Match is a match-making program that connects fruit or nut tree owners with locals ready to pick unwanted fruit and nuts. The program has been developed in anticipation of a busy bear season after seeing more bears than usual in the city this past spring.

“This spring we saw a rise in the human-bear conflict in Castlegar which, unfortunately, led to six bears being destroyed,” says Tracey Butler, the city’s director of corporate services.

“As a Bear Smart community, we hate to see this happen, so we are excited to work with WildSafeBC to try something new and fun that encourages community participation.”

Nearly ripe, ripe, and fallen fruit and nuts are known attractants to bears. Harvesting unwanted fruit and nuts from these trees provide benefits to tree owners, pickers and to the environment.

There are three ways to sign up:

  • Join the Facebook Group Harvest Match Castlegar. Watch for fruit and nut tree posts and arrange to get picking or get picked.
  • Call 250-608-5404 or email at [email protected]. If you have a fruit and nut tree that needs picking or are looking to help someone else with their harvest, let us know and we will try to match you.
  • Stop by city hall and get a fun sign to display near your fruit or nut tree so people know you want to share.

In 2021, after several years of hard work and dedication, Castlegar officially became a Bear Smart community. The Bear Smart Community Program is a voluntary, preventative conservation measure that encourages communities, businesses, and individuals to work together to reduce human-wildlife conflict.

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