Orchard Planned in Memory of Sandy Hook Victims

Newtown, CT (September 28, 2013) – A groundbreaking ceremony will take place this week to plant 30 fruit trees to honor the memory of those lost to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. The fruit trees, on the grounds of a 20,000 square-foot Victory Garden, will provide a source of sustainable harvest for local families in the community garden as well as provide a host of environmental benefits.

Fruit tree gleaningThe trees, when fully mature, will provide the community with healthy harvest and clean air each year, with approximately 1,650 pounds of fresh fruit, 7,425 pounds of carbon dioxide sequestered, 5,850 pounds of oxygen created, and 225 pounds of air pollutants filtered from the atmosphere.

The all-volunteer Victory Garden has provided more than 3,000 pounds of fresh produce to the food pantries in Newtown for the last three years. There are about 150 volunteers who form teams to plant, cultivate, harvest, and deliver their bounty to the needy.

The event is sponsored by the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, Metropolitan State University, and Inver Hills Community College, in partnership with the Newtown Parks and Recreation Department. The fruit trees are a unique Minnesota gift to Connecticut.

The plantings will consist of 30 fruit trees of varying types, including apple cultivars developed in Minnesota, with an additional 30 trees to be distributed to the volunteers who sign up to help with the planting, so that they may plant them in their own backyards.

Representatives from Inver Hills Community College and Metropolitan State University, both in suburban St. Paul, MN, will attend the event with eight students to help plant the fruit trees in the Victory Garden.

To learn more about adding fruit and nut trees to your community garden or urban forest, get ACTrees’ Community Groves Guidebook and other resources for establishing urban fruit and nut trees.