Creston group tackles accommodation crunch for fruit pickers

Every summer, hundreds of cherry pickers flock to B.C.’s Creston Valley.

And every summer, many of them wind up squatting in makeshift camps near the Kootenay River, with no running water or bathrooms. Some of these camps have as many as 100 people living outside in the elements during the busy picking season.

Now, a farmer in the Creston Valley is hoping to find safer, cleaner living quarters for the seasonal agricultural workers.

Deborah Nelius and others in a group called Fields Forward hope to establish a clean picker camp this summer.

“It’s become more and more of an issue (of) these people that are staying there,” she said. “They want to stay somewhere that their belongs are safe, where they have running water and other facilities.”

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