The Giving Grove, a Kansas City-based nonprofit serving food insecure communities across the United States, is celebrating Arbor Day on April 30 in a fruity way.
With seven locations in Northeast, the Giving Grove is encouraging Kansas Citians to get outside and plant a fruit tree. The Giving Grove has locations in Indian Mound neighborhood, St. John’s Gardens, Healing House Garden, Pendleton Heights neighborhood, Jerusalem Farm, Scuola Vita Nuova Charter School and Lykins Square Park.
Since the 16th century, countries worldwide have celebrated Arbor Day, an annual day dedicated to the planting of trees. Any native tree planted in an urban environment makes a meaningful impact by sequestering carbon, lowering summer air temperatures, and mitigating stormwater runoff.
Fruit trees have the added benefit of providing fresh, healthy food. The bounty is often plentiful enough to share with neighbors; some apple varieties in Kansas City can produce 300 pounds of fruit each year. Once the trees are well established, they require little more maintenance than a typical garden.
The Giving Grove has created free, easy to follow guides to help people successfully plant and maintain fruit trees, no matter their planting experience. The free guides are available at givinggrove.org.
Those who are unable to plant their own fruit tree can support neighborhood orchards by volunteering or donating a tree through The Giving Grove, which now serves six major cities across the US. There are more than 200 Giving Grove orchards in Kansas City, planted with the support of Giving Grove’s partner, Kansas City Community Gardens.
“The benefits of these neighborhood orchards expand past good nutrition,” Giving Grove CEO Robert Reiman said. “The urban orchards create safe and clean green space, and an opportunity for neighbor to meet neighbor.”
This month, The Giving Grove is inviting the community to help raise funds for 500 new fruit trees that will serve urban neighborhoods with limited access to fresh produce. To support this goal, the Gattermeir Family Foundation will match all donations to The Giving Grove in April, up to $25,000.
“Five hundred trees will make a big impact on food insecurity,” Reiman said. “In their lifetime, fruit trees can provide more than 7.6 million servings of fresh, free fruit, or over 350,000 servings annually. In neighborhoods where access to fresh food is limited, these orchards give the community a chance to change their food landscape.”
More information about planting fruit trees or becoming involved with The Giving Grove can be found at www.givinggrove.org/arborday.