Online tool will map out local food

The city is taking steps to create an online tool to promote local food growing, sale and consumption in Campbell River

The city is taking steps to create an online tool to promote local food growing, sale and consumption in Campbell River.

Council voted on Tuesday night to apply for a $12,900 grant from the Real Estate Foundation of BC to create a local food map.

The project would be an online directory which would provide information on where local food is grown, sold, served and the available lands for urban agriculture and small scale farming, said Amber Zirnhelt, the city’s sustainability manager.

The map would also include existing community gardens, public land available for a community garden, a land registry for property owners interested in making their land available for agriculture, and a local food directory that includes retailers and restaurants selling local food.

“The purpose of the food map is to create awareness around the opportunities for growing and sourcing local food, and help remove barriers to promoting a resilient local food system in Campbell River,” Zirnhelt said. “The food map would be complemented with a short video that would capture Campbell River’s food system and a path to creating a resilient food system for the future.”

The project falls in line with the city’s Agriculture Plan which aims to have Campbell River become at least 10 per cent self-sufficient in food production by 2020. Right now, the city only produces less than one per cent of its food locally.

Zirnhelt said the demand for a food map is there.

“The city has had numerous requests from interested individuals and community organizations, including the Greenways Land Trust and Laughing Willow Community Garden, to support the development of additional community gardens, to provide resources and tools on available land for local food production, and to offer information on farms, retailers, and restaurants that offer local food products.”

If the city’s grant application is successful the city will be expected to contribute matching funding up to $12,900 which would come from the Sustainability Department’s base budget, through general revenue.

The city would work with Greenways Land Trust and the Laughing Willow Community Garden, as well as local retailers, restaurants, and farmers to develop the food map.