Boston Tree Party grows from ground up

Michael Phillips, center, works with members of the Boston Tree Party.

There’s a movement taking root in Greater Boston.  

The Boston Tree Party kicked off its initiative yesterday with an inaugural apple tree planting on the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway.

Founded by Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts student  Lisa Gross, the BTP plans to create a “decentralized public urban orchard” by planting 200 apple trees throughout Greater Boston from Eastie to Mattapan and Somerville to Dedham.

“We’re making a stand for universal access to fresh, healthy food, greening our cities, protecting biodiversity and making a commitment to the health of the next generation,” said 28-year-old Gross.

Much of the planting will take place at the end of this month and next month, Gross said. “Delegations” made up of community volunteers will care for the trees, which will produce thousands of pounds of fruit when they mature in about four years.

Gross, an Inman Square resident, said the “civic fruit” movement is meant, in part, to promote community sharing and involvement.

Edith Murnane, Boston’s director of food policy, lent her support at the planting yesterday.

“It’s about hunger and access to food and it all comes together at the Boston Tree Party,” she said.

After most of the trees are planted, plaques will be installed at the sites to inform people about the initiative and let passersby know that the fruit is free for the taking.

“It’s really about creating an ethos of community respect and stewardship, but in the future these trees will also provide shade, beauty and food for years to come,” Gross said.


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