Growing Food in our Parks

The South Bend Parks & Recreation Department will hold public input meetings to gather public opinion to create a five year master plan for the parks and public spaces in South Bend.

One idea that could be entered into these discussions is the formation of an urban food forest.

The beauty of an urban food forest is that it creates a natural permaculture environment that serves the local ecosystem. Principles of permaculture, such as observation, capture energy, using renewable resources, and integration. The idea is to create a space in which all systems work together: the plants feed the animals, the animals assist the plant life, and the plant life feeds people (as an example). Integrating native plants is a large part of this process as alien plants can choke out native and beneficial plants while possibly killing beneficial insects or animals.

Seattle, WA recently added a food forest to its urban landscape.

Seattle’s food forest is designed to not only enhance the green space in the city, it provides runoff protection, creates a source of oxygen, and is designed to be open and free for the picking by anyone who visits the park.

Adding food sources (for humans) into this permaculture environment provides food security for everyone.

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