The Boston Tree Party in the Boston Globe

The Boston Tree Party

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Posted by Dara Olmsted

The Green Blog

February 10, 2011 05:39 PM

The Boston Tree Party is looking for a few good delegates to take up their cause. Their goal is to plant 100 pairs of heirloom apple trees in publicly used spaces throughout Greater Boston this spring.

The Boston Tree Party was founded by artist Lisa Gross in October as a way to bring together her interests in urban agriculture, public art, sustainability, and community building. The idea has spread quickly and delegations from across the area, from Boston University’s Center for Energy and Environmental Studies to Shape up Somerville have signed up to participate. Those that only have the space to plant one of the pair, have reached out to their neighbors to plant the other one, forming diverse neighborhood partnerships such as Tech Networks of Boston and Southie Trees.
The Boston Tree Party’s goal is to not only build a decentralized public urban orchard in the Boston area, but to also engage and educate the public on a number of issues from food access to environmental problems in a fun and playful way. The Boston Tree Party has educational and social activities planned, many of which are a riff off of Boston’s patriotic heritage. The first pair of trees will be planted on the Rose Kennedy Greenway at the Inauguration (April 10th), not far from the site of the Boston Tea Party. The Boston Tree Party Convention (May 14th) will bring together Delegations at the Old South Meeting House, the site of the start of the Boston Tea Party. Groups are encouraged to turn their tree planting events into celebrations to bring the community together.
Why apples? The history of apples in the U.S. is tied to Boston-the first apple orchard planted in the colonies was on Beacon Hill and the first named apple in the U.S was the Roxbury Russet. Apples are also full of symbolism from health (an apple a day…) to interdependence (an apple tree cannot grow on its own, it needs another tree planted within a quarter mile). The trees perform a multitude of environmental benefits, while also providing access to free, healthy food.
Interested but don’t know the first thing about caring for fruit trees? The Boston Tree Party has that covered- they are training non-profits (Boston Natural Areas Network, CitySprouts, Groundwork Somerville, and NOFA/Mass) across the city to host organic fruit tree care workshops. If your tree gets infested by beetles or mildew- never fear. The Apple Corps (say it out loud- it’s clever), a partnership with YouthBuild Boston will answer your questions and possibly make site visits to help.
Delegation registration ends March 11th, so round up your friends, find a spot, and join the party.