Metlakatla Opens Greenhouse

Residents in Metlakatla will be soon digging into fresh produce after the community opened its first greenhouse.

The facility will see items like lettuce, onions and even jalapeños grow.

Communications Manager Shaun Thomas says the project has been about two years in the making.

"Working in conjunction with the public works and health departments, they wanted to make sure that the greenhouse is one that's the right fit for the community. We went to various communities to look at greenhouse designs. There was actually a similar greenhouse in Kitkatla that the directors saw. It stood as the one that would serve the community's needs in the best way."

One of the advantages of having a greenhouse at Metlakatla's doorstep is the fact that they don't have to travel to Prince Rupert by boat as often to get that fresh produce.

"Geography is a bit of a challenge here in Metlakatla. It's not only nice for the access to fresh produce the residents grow themselves, but also to bring people together to create that fellowship."

The Port of Prince Rupert paid for half of the project through its community investment fund.

The port's Aboriginal Affairs Manager, Maynard Angus, says it's a great feeling helping out the surrounding First Nation communities with projects like this.

"Members of these communities come and contribute equally to the growth at the port. Whether, it's through political support from the council or the labour force that comes from the members of the community, they become part of the port community. In return, we want to join the community and become a part of the fabric of the First Nations communities through our investment funds."

Thomas says the opening of the greenhouse will bring a lot of opportunity,

"This is just the start of the greenhouse. As mentioned, our goal is to have a gardening club and offering some teaching and some workshops to really encourage community members to come out and grow what they want to grow."

The greenhouse has a price tag of $93,246.