Activists for fresh, sustainable, locally grown foods in Madison are moving ahead with plans to plant and maintain fruit and nut trees on city property despite being turned down for a $140,000 federal grant.
The tree-planting effort did win a $2,500 grant from the Dane County Tree Board, according to Janet Parker, an urban orchard enthusiast and member of the Madison Park Board, and plans are afoot to partner with other cities around the country to apply for another federal grant.
The $2,500 grant, awarded to Community GroundWorks at Troy Gardens, will pay for educational sessions on how to create and maintain an urban orchard.
Meanwhile, Park Board president Bill Barker has launched madisonfruitsandnuts.org. The site had minimal information as of Tuesday, but is expected to serve as a resource for creating urban orchards and include a map of places in Madison to glean — i.e., harvest extra fruit, nuts and other edibles from public and private lands.
The activists’ work has garnered a “huge amount of interest,” Barker said. “This has really taken off.”
Parker said the Parks Division also plans to do an inventory and map of existing fruit trees in city parks.