When news spread that nine bears were killed in Revelstoke in one week, Anna Hill decided to be pro-active. Rather than get on the social media soap box, she decided to use her carpentry skills to make people bear-resistant garbage sheds.
“It started as an idea that if we had more bear bins then it would be less attractive to the bears,” she told me. “Not everyone has a garage or shop or the skills to build one, which I happen to have.”
With carpentry experience in hand, and time at home as she cares for her young child, she decided to use her skills to make the sheds. She and her husband Lando Hill, who is the foreman for Hills Carpentry, came up with a design and they built the first box last week.
The design is fairly simple. The boxes can store two large garbage cans, have doors that open in front, and a slanted tin roof designed to shed snow in winter.
“I had some people doubting I could do this. It’s nails and screws and a table saw — everyone can do this,” Anna Hill said.
She posted the idea on the Facebook group RevySell and it took off. She offered to build the sheds for free if people supplied the materials. She had so many responses, she had to shut off her phone. People that want to build a shed themself can get the design from her and pick up the supplies.
Support also came from local stores. Home Hardware is offering 20 per cent off all the supplies need and Rona is also donating material.
“If someone has the skill to build it themselves, they can go in and get the discount,” Hill said.
She built the first shed for Lexie & Rey Ast, who recently moved into a home on Colbeck Road in Columbia Park.
“I feel that it would be a good preventative measure seeing as there’s lots of bears roaming Columbia Park and I have children,” said Lexi.
The Asts do have a shed at their home, but it’s filled with toys, bikes and more. Lexie admitted they left their garbage outside, unprotected for a few weeks after moving in. “Unfortunately there was nothing else I could do but keep the garbage indoors, which is not an option with smelly diapers and such,” she said.
Their new shed solves their storage problem.
Hill had six confirmed orders when I met with her last week. She is organizing a work bee with some skilled friends to build the sheds for this Saturday, Sept. 3. She is always looking for more people to donate their time to help out.
“I’m hoping other people join in and start taking this seriously,” she said. “We have the ability to change our environment and bears don’t.”
If you’re interested in a bear shed, or want to help out, contact Hill at 250-814-3161.