ACTrees Announces Community Groves℠ Program To Grow Urban Orchards

With Over 90% of Americans Living in Urban Areas, Many Have Limited Access to Fresh, Healthful Food.

CommunityGroves_Color_MSOffice_white_bkgrndWashington, DC (September 4, 2013) – Alliance for Community Trees (ACTrees) announces the launch of Community Groves℠, a program to improve the health and livability of neighborhoods through planting, maintaining, and harvesting fruit and nut trees.

BOSTON.NATURAL.2“Healthy trees make healthy communities, and local food sourcing is enhanced when fruit and nut trees are added to community gardens,” said Carrie Gallagher, Executive Director of ACTrees.

“With over 90% of Americans living in urban areas, too many individuals suffer from limited access to fresh, healthful food. Planting fruit and nut trees will provide fresh food for communities, educate residents about nutrition and agriculture, bring neighbors together, and revitalize vacant or derelict urban lands.”

The ACTrees Community Groves℠ program offers tools and resources for bringing the benefits of fruit and nut trees to any neighborhood. A key part of the program is the Community Groves℠ Guidebook, which helps nonprofits, community leaders, and residents plan, establish, and maintain fruit and nut tree orchards. Whether at gardens, schools, parks, or vacant lots, all residents can grow their own Community Groves℠.

With funding from federal and corporate sponsors, ACTrees will also provide Community Groves℠ Grants to its network of member and program partner organizations to support the creation and expansion of Community Groves℠ in cities across the country. To facilitate peer-to-peer networking, success stories and best practices are featured on the ACTrees.org website.

2012 results Peoples Garden Grants

ACTrees 2012 Urban Orchards Pilot Program Results

The launch of Community Groves℠ comes on the heels of a successful pilot initiative in 2012, which brought 2,000 new trees and shrubs to community gardens in 30 cities across the U.S. in partnership with the USDA People’s Garden initiative.

In earlier research, ACTrees identified the connections between urban trees and community agriculture, and discovered there is an extensive generational gap of knowledge, skill, and experience with fruit and nut trees.

“We found that older generations of urban dwellers grew fruit and nut trees and understood their required care. But with changes in the food system and modern development, that knowledge was not passed down,” says Leland Milstein, ACTrees Program Director. “Community Groves℠ aims to change that by reconnecting people with their food.”

Engaging with issues of nutrition, land use, obesity, unequal access to food, and urban neglect, Community Groves℠ offers another step forward in the effort toward healthier, more sustainable, and more secure communities. Learn more about Community Groves℠.

About Alliance for Community Trees

Alliance for Community Trees (ACTrees) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and livability of cities by planting and caring for trees. With over 200 member and partner organizations in 44 states and Canada, ACTrees engages volunteers to take action to improve the environment where 93% of people live: in cities, towns, and metropolitan areas. Together ACTrees member organizations have planted and cared for more than 15 million trees with help from over 5 million volunteers. Learn more about our mission and Community Groves℠ at www.ACTrees.org.