In Seattle, Wash., a cultural movement called Beacon Food Forest is taking place. Located in Jefferson Park, just 2.5 miles away from Seattle’s main city center, the food forest will resemble an actual woodland ecosystem.
The food forest will be comprised entirely of plants with edible foods such as fruit trees. There will also be plants that can be used medicinally.
The project was awarded a $20,000 grant from the Small and Simple Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) in 2010 from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. With these funds, a design team was hired to create and design this project.
In December of 2011 the project received $100,000 from the Department of Neighborhoods to begin phase one of the food forest plan.
The forest will sit on seven acres and will have community workshops that teach members of the community how this ecosystem thrives.
The Beacon Food Forest’s mission statement is to “design, plant and grow an edible urban forest garden that inspires our community to gather together, grow our own food and rehabilitate our local ecosystem,” according to beaconfoodforest.weebly.com
Boise has a vastly different climate and ecosystem than Seattle, but you don’t have to be a botanist to know that this is a great idea.
Boise State students offer their opinion on the project and weigh the pros and cons of a similar project being brought to one of Boise’s parks.
“That’s awesome, it’s helping other people,” said Lauren Kraemer, a senior nursing major. “I don’t see any reason to not bring it here. I mean, since we have harsh winters it might not work then, but in the summer and springtime and even into fall it would be awesome.”
Other stated reasons for the Beacon Food Forest include improving public health, reducing climate impact and improving the security of the food supply. It’ll all be organic and fresh.
Freddie Tellez, a freshman international business major said, “If there’s like bums and stuff it seems a little dirty. But, it’s a good idea.”
The worry about homeless people was shared by another student.
Melissa Liner, a sophomore health science studies major said, “That’s really cool. I don’t know about bringing it here. That’d attract a lot of homeless people and I don’t know if we have the resources to take care of more of them. But, that is a really neat idea.”
Other students thought the edible forest was a perfectly fine idea.
“I think it’s a good idea. Whatever they can do to help the (hunger) situation. I think bringing it here would be a great idea,” said Megan Beumeler, a
sophomore physical education major.
There haven’t been any plans to bring similar projects to Boise. A project like this takes years to perfect and get into gear.
Visit beaconfoodforest.weebly.com for more info.