(Summit County, UT)- The local organization Uinta Headwaters Resource Conservation and Development Council received funding from ACTrees to develop a Community Groves℠ project planting fruit trees at the Summit Community Garden.
BUILDING THE TEAM
The concept of “Community Forestry” is still in its nascent stages in Summit County, Utah. The ACTrees People’s Garden Grant project allowed Uinta Headwaters RC&D Council to share the importance of the community forest and following ANSI A300 Standards with local government officials. They initiated relationships with a variety of partners:
• Starbucks provided volunteer labor and warm beverages
• Park City Fire District provided pressurized water for the trees on planting day;
• Park City Lions Club provided volunteer labor and cash to purchase three apple trees;
• Snydersville Basin Special Recreation District provided native topsoil to backfill the tree sites;
• Park City Nursery provided machinery for site preparation and installed drip-line irrigation to all of the trees;
• Gardner Engineering provided a deeply discounted solar powered pump system to draw water from the stream and provide pressure to the drip irrigation system.
Uinta Headwaters RC&D Council also solidified its relationship with other community partners through their Community Groves project:
• Rocky Mountain Power donated educational literature and three trees
• The Oakley School shared the planting experience with 15 of their students
• Great Western Timber Company provided safety pruning of the two existing willow trees and all of the woodchips for mulching
• Summit County provided labor and machinery and is moving towards Tree City USA status.
PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION
Lesson: Flexibility is Essential
Dealing with water supply for irrigation became an unexpected issue of concern. Although there was existing irrigation for the garden plots, the system had some design challenges. The use of a solar powered pump to draw water from a seasonal stream for the system was complicated by water rights issues, sediment issues and the water source “drying up” due to drought conditions. A 4,000-gallon water truck, improved filtration, and use of drip-line designed for “secondary” water helped to reduce the impact of these issues.
Lesson: Education and Continued Community Engagement
Prior to the planting, educational information regarding the “details” of how to properly plant trees was shared via Park City Television, KPCW radio, and educational articles that appeared in the Park Record and The Summit County News. Additional information was available as handouts at the planting and will be electronically distributed via e-mail to participants. The website wasatchbacktrees.org was created to be a continuously available source of educational information. Through a NASA Summer of Innovation grant, a weather station was purchased and installed. The information gathered via this site will provide data that will assist in planning for expansion of the Community Groves℠ site.
Learn more about Community Groves℠.