Revelstoke Bear Aware is, with the assistance of Axis Mundi, launching a crowd-funding campaign to help pay for the costs associated with the annual Gleaning Project, Bear Aware Coordinator Sue Davies said in a Wednesday, June 24, statement.
She said that over the past few years Bear Aware has been very active when it comes to harvesting excess fruit in Revelstoke. Several years ago it created the Gleaning Project, which brings volunteers to unmanaged fruit trees (with the owner’s permission), harvests the fruit, and takes it to the food bank. The Gleaning Project has been harvesting in excess of 2000 lb of fruit annually to help the community reduce human bear conflict — now they need your help.
“The Gleaning Project costs Bear Aware in coordinator hours, phone bills, and vehicle expenses each year and we gratefully accept membership fees and donations to help fund it, but we need to grow the project to include more trees, and that requires more funding,” Davies said.
This year Axis Mundi has offered to help with a crowd-funding campaign aimed at raising funds for an expanded Gleaning and Canning Project, which will also include engaging kids in the whole process.”
Axis Mundi is the group organizing the Harvest Festival September 18 – 20 and the Solstice Festival next June.
“This year —depending on funding — we will be pro-actively visiting those people with fruit trees that are not being harvested,” she said. “We will offer the Gleaning Project services to fruit tree owners and we hope that increased uptake of the service will provide lots of fresh local fruit for humans, and much less of an attractant to our ursine neighbours.”
In addition to the harvest, the Local Food Initiative will be working with groups of local kids to engage them in the process of turning the fruit into canned or dried fruit, much of which will also be donated to the food bank.
Davies said this is an opportunity for local residents to show they care about Bear Aware and the viability its programs.
Visit www.gofundme.com/kidscanproject to learn more about the project and to donate to this excellent local cause.
If you have a tree that you cannot manage to harvest, or if you want to help with the harvesting (and get to take home lots of fresh, local fruit) please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Sue Davies on 250 837 8624.
Bear Aware would like to thank Axis Mundi for setting up the crowd-funding event, and CBT, CP Rail, Bresco Industries, Revelstoke Credit Union, Revelstoke Community Foundation, BC Gaming, and Parks Canada for their support of the Bear Aware Program.
For more information about reducing conflict with bears please go to revelstokebearaware.org. To receive and share valuable local information about bear activity in Revelstoke, like Bear Aware on Facebook at Facebook.com/revelstokebearaware. To report bear sightings or conflicts with bears please call the 24-hour hotline at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277).