Peat moss farm to open at East Prairie

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

A project four years in the making will provide much-needed local employment and revenue for East Prairie Metis Settlement.

East Prairie and Sun Gro Horticulture Canada Ltd. have reached an agreement to harvest peat moss on the settlement, says Gerald Cunningham, Settlement administrator.

“It’s a project council has worked on for a number of years,” says Cunningham.

“East Prairie has an abundance of peat moss. It will bring much-needed employment and revenue.”

Cunningham says an agreement was reached where Sun Gro will hire as much local labour and equipment as possible.

The project is not as simple as it sounds where Sun Gro can go in and harvest easily. The proposed operation comprises five separate bog fields with a cumulative area of 722.3 hectares. The project also involves the construction of access roads, haul roads, drainage ditches, peat harvesting fields and staging areas.

Cunningham says the bogs are in six different areas. Four bogs are located in the northeast of the settlement, the others on the south and southeast side.

If all goes well, Cunningham says Sun Gro should start harvesting in 2022.

“It’s very good news,” says Cunningham.

Sun Gro, who tentatively has at least one plan to develop another site in the Peace County, did not respond to repeated requests for an interview.

In the Water Act Notice of Application ad required by law on page 3 of this week’s South Peace News, Sun Gro says they use mitigation measures for dewatering activities during construction, operation and reclamation of the harvesting areas so there is no adverse affect toward fish or aquatic habitat.

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