Cincinnati Lays Groundwork for a Food Forest

Cincinnati, OH (July 5, 2013) -An edible forest garden is taking root in Cincinnati, a project that is also helping provide a long-term solution to renewing the Ohio River, which has been polluted for decades. The “Healthy People, Healthy River” project will incorporate edible landscaping, recreation and education, as well as a major environmental cleanup. The 28-mile greenway trail is planned in the Mill Creek watershed which runs from the Ohio River through Cincinnati and into its northern suburbs.

Gardening-Edible RestorationJoining other cities across the U.S. with similar projects, it’s hoped this community forest and gardening effort will attract public interest to a two-decade restoration of the Mill Creek watershed, which has been a receptacle for a variety of waste and pollutants.

The new edible forest garden along the river aims to provide fresh produce for people and wildlife. In addition to offering access to healthy nutrition for residents, the greenway project will help to revitalize heron, turtle, and other wildlife habitat along the River.

Along with fruit trees, the greenway will include ground vegetation and an expansion of the tree canopy to aid in managing urban stormwater and restoring water health. Some of the newly planted trees are called “Freedom Trees” to celebrate Mill Creek’s role in the Underground Railroad system that helped fugitive slaves reach freedom.

Groundwork Cincinnati is the force behind this restoration. With its partners and the active participation of hundreds of students and community volunteers, they serve as a catalyst for effort. The Garden Club of Cincinnati is contributing plants and volunteers, and other help comes from neighborhood organizations, students, environmental groups, government programs and corporations. Learn more about the project, its sponsors, and partners.

Related Resources
‘Healthy People, Healthy River’ Urban Forest Takes Root
Groundwork Cincinnati – Mill Creek
U.S. EPA Urban Waters Learning Network