Edible landscapes: Shall we?

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Last August in my Simplicity column, I detailed a gleaning database aimed at salvaging unharvested food, such as fruit from trees in city parks. 

It looks like El Paso County officials are poised to take a sustainable step in a similar direction by promoting edible landscaping locally. 

The following press release, calling for volunteers, went out this morning:
All El Paso County residents are invited to participate in the initial planning process on development an edible landscaping program through El Paso County Parks. Edible landscaping is gaining in popularity across the country. Boston, New York, Oakland, Portland, Chicago, Austin, Minneapolis and others have found that they can contribute to environmental sustainability while providing an additional source of fresh food, benefiting wildlife and offering educational opportunities for young and old alike.

This peach tree provides fruit for lucky grabbers in the atrium of the parking garage behind the city bus terminal. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • This peach tree provides fruit for lucky grabbers in the atrium of the parking garage behind the city bus terminal.
“Individuals and groups interested in the idea of edible landscaping or who would be interested in volunteering to establish and maintain areas of edible landscaping in El Paso County are encouraged to participate in the discussion of this ‘growing’ trend,” said El Paso County Commissioner Peggy Littleton, who will be hosting the get-together.

An initial planning session will take place Monday, June 22, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. and the Pikes Peak Regional Development Center, 2880 International Circle in Colorado Springs.

“The idea of edible landscaping in El Paso County is of great interest to me,” said Commissioner Littleton. “We want to be good stewards of taxpayer money that may come to the County and we are always looking for new ways to help our citizens. I would encourage everyone interested in learning more about this, or who would like to contribute ideas, to participate. I’m hoping we can plant the seeds for edible landscaping in El Paso County.”

Parks staff and interested volunteers are currently working to identify appropriate space at Fountain Creek Regional Park for fruit trees and other bushes and shrubs that could bear a variety of berries. Those who attend the initial planning session on the 22nd will learn more about these plans and have an opportunity to share their ideas with staff and other interested citizens.

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