Neighborhood Tree Planting!

On April 24, neighbors gathered to plant fruit trees in the Locust Grove Cemetery, which included nine Bartlett Pear and Anjou Pear trees, and one Black Locust “Purple Robe” tree. This is the first fruit tree planting at a city park that Providence Neighborhood Planting Program (PNPP) has sponsored as part of the Neighborhood Street Tree Award program.

“Using city parks as orchard space is a beneficial collaboration for all involved,“ says Liz Downing, Director of the Providence Neighborhood Planting Project. “Trees in the city improve air quality, moderate temperatures, and improve public health. The newly planted trees at the Locust Grove Cemetery will take it a step further by providing healthy fruit to neighborhood residents.”

Providence City Councilman Miguel Luna is enthusiastic that the project will beautify the park and the neighborhood.

“The new Locust Grove orchard is the first of many other improvements–including a new fence and lighting–that are in the works to transform our neighborhood’s park into a safe, welcoming, and beautiful space where people can enjoy each other and nature,” says Councilman Luna.

Other cities have seen success with similar public orchard projects. Philadelphia currently has 17 public orchards at parks around the city. Organizers of the Locust Grove Cemetery project hope the will be many more public orchards planted in the City of Providence.

“We feel it is important for the Providence Neighborhood Planting Program to look beyond street tree planting, and participate in the growing urban agriculture movement,” says Doug Still, City Forester with the Providence Parks and Recreation Department.  “There are underutilized green spaces around the city that are ideal for planting apple, pear and cherry trees – if local constituents agree to care for them.

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