Thursday, August 14, 2014

Fruit Parks Take Root in San Bernardino and Tampa

San Bernardino, CA (April 12, 2014) — More than 30 volunteers gathered to set the stage for the California's third community fruit park, digging 30 holes in preparation for planting on April 26th. The small community orchard, facilitated by Incredible Edible Community Garden, will provide healthy, organic food within easy reach for residents. And in Tampa, FL, volunteers planted small orchards of fruit trees at three local parks.

Community members prepare an "Incredible Edible Community Garden" in San Bernardino
Located at Nicholson Park on San Bernardino's Westside, the fruit park will help to offer healthy and nutritious food choices to residents and their children in the face of many serious health concerns. The fruit park has also become a focal point to bring together a wide variety of community residents.
The community aspect is key, said Mary Petit, founder and president of the nonprofit Incredible Edible Community Garden. "We just facilitate, but this is all about the community," she said. "They pick the trees they want, they plant them, they care for them. It's really encouraging to see."
According to Petit, the goal is to have an urban growing space combined with education on growing, storing and preparing food, eventually combined with gardening certifications, mini-grants for local businesses and more.
Kevin Serra, a horticulture specialist with the city of Tampa, helps load the donated fruit trees (Eve Edelheit / Tampa Bay Times)
Small community orchard were also launched in three Tampa, Florida Parks. After a year or so of proposing and planning, a local couple, and with help from dozens of fellow gardeners, city council members, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful and Tampa's parks staff, some 60 to 90 volunteers headed out to three city parks to plant fruit trees that the public can enjoy.
While the city wasn't ready to agree to a large-scale project, it did agree to allow plantings at Rowlett, Al Lopez and Gadsden parks. Fruits from the donated sunburst tangerine, Meyer lemon, star fruit, loquat and Chickasaw plum trees planted at the three parks will be available for public consumption. Volunteers will maintain them.
Learn more about establishing Community Groves℠ in your neighborhood. Download the Community Groves℠ Guidebook to get step-by-step details.