On a sunny day in Wallingford, Meridian Park is buzzing with frisbees, dogs, and people enjoying the gardens and open spaces. It’s easy to miss that many of the trees supplying the shade are edible fruit trees! On Wednesdays, a group of students from the Boys and Girls Club of Wallingford wander over to learn about what it means to be a steward and how to preserve and protect the trees in their neighborhood. A community grant has made it possible for City Fruit to teach our first youth program focused on tree stewardship – our goal is to inspire hands-on learning that will enable students to become the empowered environmental decision makers of tomorrow. This small group of motivated students has started to learn about the importance of the urban canopy and the role trees play in the local ecosystem. On Earth Day, they made observations and held an open discussion about the ways trees influence our climate and protect our planet. As a group, the students identified the many tree-based products in our daily lives and how native peoples have used raw tree products for food, medicine, tools, clothing and more! Students are developing their stewardship, leadership and advocacy skills to bring back to their community and local trees. Various other local student groups have also volunteered with City Fruit to plant trees, clear weeds, and help assess the impact of fruit trees on public lands in Seattle.
Climate change has increased the urgency for environmental action on a global scale. It is increasingly important for the human species to preserve the shrinking global forests in order to continue to survive. Our youth are the conservation leaders of the future. Studies have shown, environmental education engages students in learning, raising test scores, and encouraging youth to pursue careers in environmental and natural resources.
This class was made possible by the Alliance for Community Trees and CSX.
We’d love to get you engaged in the City Fruit family! Check out upcoming events, become an ambassador to manage the fruit trees in your neighborhood and get your community involved, sign up to volunteer, or become a member to support City Fruit monthly or annually.