The plan by LA-based art collaborative Fallen Fruit to plant fruit parks in Weinland Park and the South Side is moving forward at full steam, thanks to the enthusiastic support of volunteers, and of donors to our Buckeye Funder campaign. After hitting our initial Buckeye Funder goal of $5000 to cover basic costs of planting trees and bushes at the two locations, we created a new goal of $10,000 to help cover the ongoing maintenance costs. With just a few days left to hit that number—the campaign ends March 31—we asked a university partner in the know to shed some light on how the extra funds will be used.
Mike Hogan, an OSU Extension Educator and Associate Professor, has been working with the Fallen Fruit project as a technical advisor, and is coordinating the school's master gardeners to provide ongoing support for the fruit trees and bushes to be planted. As Mike explained, the project's unlike anything he's worked on before, and it's hard to say what the teams of volunteers maintaining the parks may run into over time, but there are some basic challenges when it comes to growing fruit.
"We will invariably have plants that don't make it, and they'll have to be replaced," he said. "There could also be a disease or a weather anomaly that may kill all the grape vines."
While OSU Extension will provide ongoing support for the parks, the responsibility for keeping them thriving will fall primarily on partners in the neighborhoods. The additional funds being sought will help ensure that a need for replacement plants—or just new pruning shears, or a fresh layer of mulch—will be covered for years to come.
Want to help make sure the fruit parks thrive? Click here.