After 65 of operation, the province has announced Pineland Forest Nursery in Hadashville will close its doors on December 31st.
As part of an ongoing extensive value for money review across government, Manitoba Sustainable Development has determined the nursery, just off of the Trans-Canada Highway, is no longer viable as a provincially operated entity. However, it says the nursery contains valuable assets and the province is exploring new options for its use. David Turchyn, Reeve for the RM of Reynolds, says this came as a shock for them as this employs such a large number of local people, including himself at one point, and adds it will definitely be sad to see it close.
"It’s a major contributor like I said, it’s been here for 65 years, longer than we’ve been a municipality. It’s been here for a long time, it’s employed local people. Everybody, I would say a large percentage of the population here at one time or another was employed at the nursery. I mean it was a fixture, it still is. What’s going to happen? We’re not sure but we hope for the best."
Turchyn explains Pineland Forest Nursery was based on reforestation. He says they provide a service for the province as well as wood and paper companies by extracting seeds, growing and storing seedlings for future planting. Turchyn notes many of the employees at the nursery were saddened by the news.
"I think that there’s probably a lot of them in shock, even though maybe they knew it was coming but you know how it is. When it does hit you I’m sure it’s traumatic to a lot of people because some of them are seasonal and they rely on that as their livelihood."
Turchyn adds they hope someone comes in with some vision and reopens the greenhouse and restores these local jobs.
"That’s our main hope. We have to look for the positives, it’s done already. This nursery is done as of December 31st. We’re hoping somebody comes in with some vision, some great opportunities whether it be Peak of the Market or the medicinal marijuana or maybe just as a tree nursery. Still the same, it’ll work. I’ve worked there before, I’ve seen the potential in that place."