Parkland Gleaning Project
The Billings Parks Department would like to introduce an exciting new pilot program called the Parkland Gleaning Project. The project’s goal is to expand food security by mapping various natural food resources available on city-owned parkland. This work is being primarily facilitated by Nemo Negron (firstname.lastname@example.org), an AmeriCorps VISTA member with the Billings Metro VISTA Project in collaboration with multiple organizations also dedicated to increasing food security. The project includes the online GPS mapping of fruit trees growing in various public parks, and recording the location into a publicly accessible database http://Fallingfruit.org. The installation of multiple Edible Forests on parkland is also a vital element of the project. Within various parks, including Rose Park and Lillis Park, groups of fruit trees have been planted in a condensed section of the park as a way to localize the production of some fresh food resources in the community. Many other parks have the potential to be the home of more fruit trees.
About the Edible Forests
Rose Park Edible Forest
This planting site is on the Northwest edge of the park, by the horseshoe pit. There are multiple species of Apple trees planted in the area, such as Honey Crisp and Sweet Sixteen Apples. The Edible Forest contains Waneta, Toka and Black Ice Plum species. Volunteer from Billings Downtown Rotary assisted with the initial planting in the Spring of 2018.
Lillis Park Edible Forest
The Lillis Park planting site begins on the corner of Parkview Drive and Lillis Lane, towards the east side of the park. With help from the Girl Scouts of Montana and their families, twelve Apple and Plums young trees were planted at the park.
Highland Park Edible Forest
Ten apple and plum trees have been added to Highland Park, creating an another Edible Forest to harvest from. Honey Crisp, Ruby September, and Red Macintosh apples were among the varieties planted. Pembina and Toka plums were also added to the park space. This special project was part of the United Way Day of Caring annual volunteer event. Special thank you to the Kampgrounds of America (KOA) for a great day of planting and smiles.
Comanche Park Edible Forest
The HDR Green Team dedicated their time to planting 12 fruit producing trees and shrubs into Comanche Park. This small park is located off of South Plainview Street. In October of 2018, dwarf cherry shrubs, choke-berries, and pears were planted for the community to enjoy and utilize.