Civic Works’ Baltimore Orchard Project Launches ‘Moveable Orchard’ Initiative
Innovative program to increase accessibility to fresh produce for underserved communities
BALTIMORE (March 20, 2018)— Civic Works’ Baltimore Orchard Project (BOP) announces the launch of a $15,000 crowdfunding campaign to establish “Moveable Orchards” in Baltimore’s vacant lots and community gardens. These portable fruit trees will serve as a source of sustainable nourishment for the city’s underserved neighborhoods.
Through Baltimore City’s “Adopt-A-Lot” initiative, residents and organizations have the option to improve vacant lots in their community. But with uncertain land tenure and poor soil quality, the Civic Works program and its partners saw an opportunity to take that initiative further and develop semi-permanent structures that keep trees mobile and thriving.
“Moveable Orchards will be an innovative solution that will bring healthy produce to individuals all over Baltimore,” said Eric Sargent, planting coordinator at Civic Works’ Baltimore Orchard Project. “Because they are above-ground, self-contained structures, community members won’t need to worry about contaminants or complicated exit strategies if a lease is lost.”
The funds BOP raises from the campaign will be used to design and install two movable fruit trees at four different locations throughout the city. The first two pilot sites include the Baltimore Food Hub in Oliver and Strength to Love Farm in Sandtown-Winchester.
Inspired by the Milkwood permaculture project in Australia, BOP’s Moveable Orchard trees will grow figs, serviceberries, dwarf apples and pears in a recycled IBC container, outfitted with a self-wicking bed and water reservoir, and surrounded by a wooden frame. Following installation, community members will cultivate their own orchards to provide fresh fruit for their neighborhood with educational support from BOP.
“Baltimore is full of vibrant neighborhoods that are primed for growth but simply lack the resources to make it happen,” said Dana Stein, executive director of Civic Works. “This initiative will strengthen Baltimore’s communities by allowing underserved residents to reclaim vacant space and produce fresh, nutrient-dense foods.”
Civic Works will celebrate the launch of its Moveable Orchard initiative on Arbor Day, Friday, April 27 at The Food Hub, 1801 E Oliver St., Baltimore, MD 21213. To donate or learn more about this initiative, visit: http://civicworks.com/moveable-orchards/.
ABOUT CIVIC WORKS
Civic Works is Baltimore’s urban service corps and an AmeriCorps program. Our mission is to strengthen Baltimore’s communities through education, skills development, and community service. Civic Works AmeriCorps members tutor and mentor students, create community parks and gardens, help homeowners conserve energy, grow food for low-income residents, rehabilitate abandoned houses, involve families in Baltimore City schools, make homes safer for older adults, and recruit volunteers. Civic Works also trains Baltimore residents for employment in the healthcare and green job industries. For more information, please visit www.civicworks.com.
ABOUT CIVIC WORKS’ BALTIMORE ORCHARD PROJECT
The Baltimore Orchard Project grows, gleans, and gives away fresh, local fruit in Baltimore. We partner with communities and families to identify and care for the many fruit trees that grow in yards, streets, and public places. We plant orchards and food forests in unused spaces throughout the Baltimore area. Volunteers help us glean fruit that would otherwise go to waste, and we give it to those in need. For more information, please visit baltimoreorchardproject.civicworks.com.