At a time when over 90% of the U.S. population lives in urbanized areas, far too many communities suffer from limited access to fresh, healthful, affordable food. ACTrees launched Community Groves℠ to offer a new path to improve the health and livability of neighborhoods: planting, maintaining, and harvesting fruit and nut trees.
Healthy trees make healthy communities, and Community Groves℠ demonstrates that the urban forest can play a critical role in community agriculture. Any local nonprofit or group of individuals can start a Community Groves℠ project. Planting small orchards of fruit and nut trees will provide fresh food, educate residents about nutrition and agriculture, bring neighbors together, and revitalize vacant or derelict urban lands.
The Community Groves℠ Guidebook offers a roadmap and resources for bringing the amazing benefits of trees to any neighborhood. It’s designed to help nonprofits, community leaders, and residents plan, establish, and maintain fruit and nut tree orchards. Download the Guidebook, or view it online. Many local organizations are already planting fruit and nut trees. Find out how to get involved near you.
Community Groves℠ Grants
In addition, Community Groves℠ grants enable local organizations to establish fruit and nut tree orchards. In its 2012 pilot year, this grant program supported 30 projects in 21 states from coast to coast. Learn more about the grants. Funding is available only to ACTrees member organizations. Learn about becoming an ACTrees member and join today.
Local Case Studies
If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the case studies from last year’s successful and innovative Community Groves℠ projects:
- Boston Natural Areas Network- Nightingale Community Garden
- City Fruit- Beacon Food Forest
- New Jersey Tree Foundation- Cooper Sprouts Garden
- Oakland Landscape Committee- East Oakland Schools
- Openlands- Artists’ Garden
- Pennsylvania Horticultural Society- Saul Agricultural High School
- St. Joseph’s College GREEN Pumas- Community Learning Garden
- Tree Pittsburgh- Homewood Community Garden
- Tree New Mexico- Rio Grande Community Farm
- Uinta Headwaters- Summit County Community Garden
Learn more about fruit and nut trees and the connections between urban forestry and community agriculture from our webcasts on these topics:
Establishing Partnerships to Plant Community Groves℠
The Nuts and Bolts of Fruit and Nut Trees
Heading Towards Sustainability- Part I: Agroforestry
Heading Towards Sustainability- Part II: Community Orchards