Enrichmond and The Martin Agency have come together to create an Urban Apple Orchard in Church Hill’s Chimborazo Park. Starting with a kickstarter campaign now underway, the two organizations plan to create this unique Urban Orchard as a community learning site for hands-on training in fruit production, orchard maintenance practices - and - “goatscaping.”
As one of Enrichmond’s 21st Earth Day Community Impact Projects, the Urban Orchard will incorporate a very cost effective and environmentally friendly technique, “goatscaping.” Goats will be used to clear away invasive species and overgrown plants from the site. It’s a clever alternative to using herbicides and machines which emit carbon dioxide and produce chemically toxic runoff. In addition, goats provide natural fertilizer, a quality that will be appreciated by the trees after the goats are gone.
Check out the goats and the goatscaping beginning Wednesday, November 27th. Join them from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. in the southeastern edge of Chimborazo Park. Signage will direct you from East Broad Street entrance.
After the grounds have been cleared, sapling apple trees will be donated by Blue Bee Cider who has partnered with the Virginia Cooperative Extension to ensure a team of enthusiastic horticulturalists.
Urban Orchards were once a long standing community tradition but disappeared during prohibition. Being the first of its kind in eighty years, the urban orchard project promises to restore beauty to Church Hill, provide naturally grown produce to neighbors, and create an outlet for community involvement and education.
The project aspires to host community workshops focusing on proper pruning techniques, weeding and pest control practices for fruit production. The project is dependent on at least $5,000 in donations to secure the goats and they’re safety, prepare the soil, plant the saplings, and establish community workshops. Donations can be made at Kickstarter.com.
John Sydnor, Executive Director of Enrichmond explains, “Enrichmond is glad to introduce Earth Day Richmond Community Impact Projects to deliver great earth friendly demonstration projects like goatscaping and urban orchards to Richmond. There will be more great projects ahead leading into the 21st Earth Day Richmond Festival April 26th, 2014.”
Enrichmond and The Martin Agency find support from Friends of Chimborazo Park, the City of Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities, Commonwealth of Virginia Urban Forestry, and Blue Bee Cider, but they still need your help!
So, donate and be proud to help revive a wonderful community tradition at Kickstarter.com.
Article by Rachel Morales, citizen scientist, environmental scientist and new community correspondent for Science Matters.