Fruit Trees in Seattle Parks
More than 30 Seattle parks have fruit trees — many of them are the remnants of heritage orchards. Parks like Carkeek, Meridian, and Amy Yee Tennis Center have extensive orchards with good varieties. Many other parks, such as Linden Orchard Park and Bradner Gardens, have planted mini-orchards as part of a community garden.
While these trees are of value to the community as a source of food and canopy cover and as a link to Seattle’s past, Seattle Park’s landscaping budgets cannot cover the costs of the pruning, pest management and harvest of fruit trees.
City Fruit was awarded a grant from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources in cooperation with the US Forest Service to develop a community stewardship program to care for fruit trees in Seattle parks. We now have teams of orchard stewards working in nine city parks: Amy Yee Tennis Center, Bradner Gardens, Burke-Gilman Trail (Wallingford), Dr. Jose Rizal, Linden Orchard, Martha Washington, Meadowbrook, Meridian, and Piper's Orchard (Carkeek). We also support orchards in two P-Patches: Picardo Farm P-Patch and Queen Pea P-Patch, plus four other public sites: Brandon Gardens Triangle, Danny Woo Community Garden, Freeway Estates Community Orchard, and Good Shepherd Center.
This project represents a significant public-private collaboration. Its success depends on the efforts of the more than 30 stewards currently working in seven Seattle parks. These volunteers hold cider parties, pull blackberries and English ivy, spread “Zoo-Doo" compost and wood chip mulch, harvest, and create policy around their orchards. Seattle Department of Parks & Recreation hauls brush, supplies wood chip mulch and provides staff and equipment for large renovation pruning. City Fruit facilitates workshops and coordinates the steward groups with support from the State Department of Natural Resources, in collaboration with the US Forest Service.
To learn more or ask questions about the City Fruit Orchard Steward program, contact [email protected].
Interested in becoming an Orchard Steward?