Urban Fruit Guardians (UFG)

Seattle is one of the few major urban cities in the United States that still has an extensive network of orchards. With City Fruit’s Urban Fruit Guardians program, we bring students to explore this unique resource through environmental science lessons and art projects. 

 

In 2022, we piloted Urban Fruit Guardians as a summer-camp style education program for youth (grades 1-5) that we hosted in various Seattle public orchards. In 2023, we’re looking to continue this program by bringing orchard education lessons to the classroom. We’re looking to partner with public school classrooms, homeschool groups, and other youth groups that would like us to bring these lessons to their space. Our team members are happy to schedule a lesson during the school day or whenever your group typically meets! Sessions will roughly be 90 minutes depending on the lesson topic. 

(Image description: students and chaperones gathered outside to learn.)
(Image description: Girl Scouts working in a P-Patch.)
(Image description: students touring the forest.)
(Image description: two kids posing for the camera outside.)
(Image description: child arranging wood chips.)
(Image description: kids arranging sticks.)
(Image description: kids gathered outside to learn.)

We adapted some of the lesson plans that we ran in 2022 to be better suited for the classroom: 

 

Biodiversity/ Fruit Tree ID

Using leaf cuttings from different trees that grow in our city, this lesson aims to encourage youth to learn about the diversity of fruit trees and their attributes.

Water Cycle

Interactive lesson displaying the different components of the water cycle, with an emphasis on the role of fruit trees. 

Pollination

This lesson aims at building a foundational knowledge on native pollinator species, and includes a hands-on craft activity that touches on the importance of supporting wild flowers and other supportive pollinator plants.

Soil Layers

Visual lesson of how soil layers are comprised and how different soil types can affect the growth and health of plants, including fruit trees. During the lesson students will learn how to read a soil texture analysis (jar test), and will be able to make their own take-home jar test to analyze with their parent.

Orchard Mapping

This lesson aims to show the differences between various orchard maps and images to showcase different orchard designs across Seattle, and encourages youth to make observations about fruit types, placement of fruit trees, and use of orchard space. Building off of these observations, students will have the opportunity to collaborate to design their own orchard map.

Rooting and Planting

This lesson utilizes visual examples and art activities to teach about different strategies for propagating plants. 

To submit an interest form for your youth or youth cohort, please click here or contact Riley at riley@cityfruit.org.

Suggested Donation

City Fruit wants to support learning in food justice, citizen science, and environmental stewardship. We would like to continue to offer the UFG program for free, however we currently do not have grant funding for this program in 2023. If you are financially able to support our program, we have a suggested donation amount dependent on group size to help us cover staff time and materials, and to help us continue operating the program. Groups of 10 or less has a suggested donation of $120. Groups of 10 or more requires a second staff person, with a suggested donation of $180.

We’d like to thank School’s Out Washington for their generous grant support to help us kick start the UFG Program, and Arcadis for funding UFG program materials and snacks through their Local Sparks Program.  

 

The lesson plans developed under the program will be available for download here once finalized, for free use by parents and educators.