Thanks to the contributions of community partners, new trees were recently planted at two Shawnee Mission schools.
Culinary students and volunteers gathered recently to plant 23 orchard trees and shrubs as part of the first phase of developing the Urban Orchard located behind the Center for Academic Achievement (CAA).
The trees will be tended by culinary students for three years until the trees are ready to bear fruit. That fruit will be used in dishes served by students at the Broadmoor Bistro student-run restaurant.
The Urban Orchard is provided as part of a collaboration between the Giving Grove and the Shawnee Mission School District which has been generously funded by a grant from the Hudson Family Foundation through the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation.
The orchard includes pear, apple, and jujube trees along with a row of bush cherries that form a border along the edge of the CAA Broadmoor Urban Farm.
The Urban Orchard also will provide an educational resource for all students from elementary school to high school, providing field trip and sensory learning opportunities, as well as school snacks.
“I hope elementary students will come to the orchard and pick apples for their morning snack,” Chef Bob Brassard said. “The orchard will help teach food science and expand farm-to-plate education utilizing seasonal fruits and vegetables.”
Across town on the same day, the City of Prairie Village Tree Board partnered with the Heartland Tree Alliance and the Shawnee Mission School District to plant 11 redbud and paperbark maple trees at Indian Hills Middle School.
The trees, planted along 63rd Street and Mission Road, are intended to increase shade and improve air and water quality. The Prairie Village Tree Board funded the purchase of the trees. The Heartland Tree Alliance selected the species and recruited the volunteers to plant the trees.
The Heartland Tree Alliance planted 60 trees at three elementary schools during the 2017-2018 school year, funded by corporate partners. Principal Blake Revelle and the district Operations and Maintenance team will oversee care for the trees until they are well-established.