DE PERE — Just like the fruit on the trees around De Pere, the urban orchard program continues to grow after six years.
The initiative has planted over 80 trees so far with apples, pears, and plums growing throughout town.
The program has planted trees in several locations on both sides of the Fox River primarily at local schools and town parks.
The city targets two new orchards per year. The fruit is completely free for residents as none of the money for the program comes from taxpayer dollars.
De Pere seeks money from different grant funds that allows the community to purchase the fruit trees from local farms.
Next, the parks department teams up with the FFA at local schools to set up the gardens.
After the initial purchase and planning, the town leaves the upkeep to residents and the parks department.
These urban orchards serve as a way to promote healthy nutrition and provide access to fresh and affordable food for everyone in the community. The fruit is also completely pesticide free and organic.
The orchards offer a sustainable food source during the harvest season each year in the late summer and early fall.
This program aims to continue De Pere's emphasis on the environment and sustainability after a recent town survey showed that was the top concern among those polled.