Urban Orchards to Provide Free Fruit to the Community

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Urban Orchards to Provide Free Fruit to the Community

Posted: 11/15/2017
Beardsley FarmKeep Knoxville Beautiful (KKB), in partnership with Beardsley Community Farm and the Green Thumb Program, will be hosting a community-wide Urban Orchards Planting on Saturday, December 9 from 9:00 a.m. until approximately 11:30 a.m. Volunteers are needed to plant 101 fruit trees in different locations in North, South, East, and West Knoxville. Volunteers will meet at Beardsley Community Farm at 1741 Reynolds Street to sign in, learn how to plant fruit trees properly, and then disperse with site leaders to various locations to begin planting.

The goal of the Urban Orchards Planting is to beautify Knoxville while providing free fruit to residents. The USDA has identified 15 “food deserts” in Knoxville. Urban food deserts are defined as census tracts where residents must travel at least one mile to find fresh, affordable, and healthy food. Sometimes these residents do not have ready access to transportation, so they are left shopping at gas stations and corner stores, or purchasing meals from fast food establishments—none of which provide healthy foods. This lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables can lead to obesity, diabetes, and other poor health outcomes. The goal of the Urban Orchard Project is to address this food access obstacle with a simple, natural, and volunteer-powered solution that also doubles as an environmentally-friendly beautification project. 

While food deserts are found all over Knoxville, East Knoxville is KKB’s Community of the Year until July 2018, so 70% of the fruit trees will be planted there. Locations will receive between 2 and 15 trees each, and recipients include schools, parks, churches, community gardens, and nonprofit organizations. A map showing where to find the fruit trees will be posted on Keep Knoxville Beautiful’s website in January. 

The Urban Orchards Planting is free and open to anyone who wants to increase the public’s access to fresh fruit while making Knoxville a greener and more beautiful city.

Volunteers can click here to register or by visiting the Upcoming Events page on keepknoxvillebeautiful.org.  

All supplies and tools will be provided, but volunteers are asked to wear closed toe shoes and comfortable clothes. Breakfast snacks will be provided.  

The Urban Orchard Project was made possible thanks to a grant from UPS via Keep America Beautiful. 

About Keep Knoxville Beautiful

Founded in 1978 to help “clean up” prior to the 1982 World’s Fair, Keep Knoxville Beautiful is a local non-profit with a mission to promote a cleaner, greener, and more beautiful community.

We pursue this by:
• Educating students and the public about waste-prevention, litter, recycling, and environmental stewardship
• Facilitating and supporting litter pickups that make our roads and local waterways cleaner
• Creating and protecting murals and hosting beautification mobs to make Knoxville a more beautiful and interesting place to live and visit

During 2016-2017, we:
• Facilitated or supported 61 litter pickups
• Collected 55,615 pounds of litter
• Planted 18,000+ daffodil and tulip bulbs
• Reached 1,255 kids with our presentations
• Used our recycling trailer and recycling bins to provide recycling for 10 events
• Worked with 1,542 volunteers
• Facilitated 4,108 volunteer hours

To learn more about Keep Knoxville Beautiful, visit keepknoxvillebeautiful.org