July 28, 2017 3:48 pm
Updated: July 28, 2017 6:08 pm

Hungry? Grab fresh fruit off a tree for free in Kirkland’s ‘fruit alley’

WATCH: Residents strolling through des Bénévoles Park in Kirkland are being treated to the sweet scents of fresh fruit. As Global's Dan Spector reports, it’s part of an initiative to educate children about nutrition and agriculture.

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The City of Kirkland, in Montreal’s West Island, has created a “fruit alley” at des Bénévoles Park.

Officials planted dozens of fruit trees and shrubs along a 100-metre path in the park, dedicating it to all the men and women who have volunteered to make Kirkland a better place over the years.

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“We have apple trees, plum trees, cherry trees, peach trees, pear trees, apricot, hazelnut,” Kirkland mayor Michel Gibson told Global News.

“We have shrubs too, raspberry and gooseberry.”

The trees were planted a few weeks ago and most aren’t bearing any fruit yet.

The hope is that in a few years, when the trees and shrubs are all grown up, people can sit down and relax under the canopy and snack on fresh fruit right there in their neighbourhood.

“It’s a beautiful experience. When these trees will be at maturity, you’ll be able to pick the fruits that are there,” Gibson said.

Residents said they love the idea.

“I love the fruit alley. I love anything that’s nature in the area,” said Elizabeth Tiotte as she took her morning walk.

“This is a great way to try fruit we’ve never tried. I saw this Saskatoon berry. I’ve never tried that before,” said resident Mylène Moy.

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The mayor also sees educational opportunities for schools in the area.

“You have descriptions of the tree that was planted, the best time to eat the fruits or the nuts, when’s the proper time,” said Gibson.

The mayor said there has already been some vandalism, forcing the city to fix up the fruit alley right before its inauguration.

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“I’m worried that people might come and just take all the fruit away,” said Elizabeth Tiotte.

“I just hope people are respectful of it all. It will be a good indication of the neighbourhood if people are respectful.”

“We’re expecting our citizens to be well-behaved and pick what they want, but leave some for others,” said the mayor.

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Kirkland is already thinking about where to put its next fruit alley.

Authorities say they hope the gesture encourages citizens to plant fruit at their own homes.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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