Regional District gets $15K for Gellatly Nut Farm inventory project

The Regional District was one of 21 applicants to receive a TD Green Streets grant.

(From left) Jassie Kakoschke of TD Bank Group

The legacy of Jack Gellatly is one that should be celebrated.

That was the message from speakers at a TD Green Streets Launch Event at Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park Wednesday.

TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and Tree Canada selected the Regional District of the Central Okanagan to receive $15,000 for a Gellatly Nut Farm heritage tree inventory and nut orchard management plan.

The funds will go toward an inventory of over 600 tees and 1,179 hazelnut shrubs, preparation of the nut orchard management plan and future establishment of a nut tree arboretum in the park.

Unique numbered metal tags will be assigned to each tree and information will be gathered about every plant in Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park.

The database of information will assist Regional District park services staff to link some of the historical records of David and Jack Gellatly’s original nut tree breeding trials and existing Gellatly tree varieties growing in various arboretums, botanical gardens and private nurseries across North America to the tree inventory.

Bruce Blackwell, principal of B.A. Blackwell & Associates Ltd.—the consultant working on the inventory—said the inventory will also look at the trees’ attributes, health characteristics and proximity. He said observations have already been made how various changes to practices and the movement of certain trees could improve their health.

“We’ve also recognized this historical perspective that really hasn’t been documented to the extent that it can be. Hopefully through the management plan we’ll improve some of the historical documentation around where the nuts have gone and where some of the genetic material resides,” said Blackwell.

Murray Kopp, director of park services for the Regional District, said the work is “very important to the success of Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park.”

TD Green Streets is a national program that supports innovative practices in municipal forestry with matching grants of up to $15,000.

This year the Regional District was one of 21 municipalities selected to receive the grant out of 75 applicants.

Carl Zanon, past president of the Gellatly Nut Farm Society, said this work will positively impact the nut farm’s future.

“If we consider 20 to 40 years from now, we would like visitors to this site to have the same experience of the legacy of Jack Gellatly as we are now enjoying,” said Zanon.

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