The Asylum (the Home for Fruits and Nuts)
Fred Burns and Kay Richter, members of the Blue Hills neighborhood, are transforming their neighborhood one tree at a time. This neighborhood exists on both sides of Bruce R. Watkins Drive, the construction of which left many dead-end streets, vacant properties and blighted land. Fred and Kay have helped organize neighborhood clean-ups, turn undeveloped property into native wildlife habitat and plant orchards through the Prospect Hill area of Blue Hills. Their edible tree garden includes approximately 100 trees and shrubs including: Asian pears, peaches, apricots, apples, cherries, hazelnuts, chestnuts, and elderberries.
Boys Grow is a nonprofit agency providing mentoring, entrepreneurship skills, and positive male role models for inner-city boys ages 12-15. Boys Grow literally broke ground in the Spring of 2010 and is a year-round farming and business program supporting the youth by providing valuable personal and business tools while cultivating and selling the products that are grown. The mission of BoysGrow is to take an inner-city boy and open his eyes to the possibilities and realities of entrepreneurship. This is truly an amazing program. BoysGrow uses farming and agriculture as the vehicle to instill pride, identity, discipline, and an understanding of the business world. On a new farm south of the city, BoysGrow and the Giving Grove partnered to install over 40 fruit trees, with boat loads of berries!
Center Elementary School
Center Elementary serves approximately 300 K-5th grade students in the Center School District in south Kansas City Missouri. The building first served as Center High School when it opened in 1948 and was repurposed as an elementary school in 1988. The Center Elementary Giving Grove was installed on National Arbor Day in 2014 with the help of students from the Center Alternative School and students from the Elementary. The fruit from these trees will be enjoyed by the students for many years to come. It includes Jujubes, apples, Asian pears, European pears and two figs.
Glanville Towers is a retirement facility owned by the Kansas City, Kansas Housing Authority. Kansas City Community Gardens installed eight raised vegetable beds in 2012 which are tended to by the residents. In spring of 2014 the Giving Grove helped install four fruit trees which include apples and Asian pears. Once these trees bear fruit, the produce will go directly to the residents.
Grand Avenue Temple Orchard / Bessie's House
This orchard, planted in April of 2014, sits on the site of a burned-out Elks Lodge in the Sheffield Neighborhood of Kansas City Missouri. Rights to this empty lot were given to Bessie’s House, a non-profit organization that provides nutrition, clothing, grooming, and job referral services to the homeless. With the help and stewardship of members of the Grand Avenue Temple, this empty corner lot has now become a gathering place for many in the neighborhood. Numerous volunteers from the Thrivent financial services firm donated their time to install this edible tree garden which includes 12 trees: Asian pears, European pears, and apples.
Lakeview Village Retirement Community
Lakeview Village is a retirement community based in Lenexa, Kansas. The CEO, Jamie Frazier is focused on a variety of sustainability initiatives, including a partnership with the Giving Grove to add a small grove of fruit trees to the on-site preschool program and provide healthy food to a low income retirement village and a local food pantry. Residents, in cooperation with the village grounds crew and preschoolers, installed this edible tree garden which includes Asian pears, Apples, European pears and four bush cherries.
Passport Empowerment is a youth mentoring program of the Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church Resource House (MMBCRH). The program is designed to supplement the academic, self, and civic development of students in transition in the Kansas City Public Schools. The house is located in a neighborhood with many empty lots along 71 highway. In early spring of 2014, arrangements were made to clear debris and overgrowth from a lot adjoining the property. In May of 2014, a small group of volunteers and Giving Grove staff install 12 fruit trees, and a blackberry and raspberry bed. Raised vegetable beds were then added by the youth of Passport Empowerment. Future plans may eventually include a small greenhouse. This edible tree garden includes 12 trees (cherries, apples, peaches, Asian pears, and European pear), blackberries and raspberries.
Police Athletic League - Kansas City, MO
The mission of the Police Athletic League (PAL) of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department is to offer youth the opportunity to interact with police officers in a positive setting while participating in cultural, mentoring and sports programs, with the main emphasis on academics. The East Patrol Division PAL is located in the old KCMO Parks Blue Valley Recreation Center at 18th and White. The center closed in 2000 and was repurposed by PAL in 2001. PAL has maintained vegetable beds for a number of years, and in the spring of 2014, with the help of the Giving Grove and many local youth and adults, planted 12 trees (Peaches, Apples, Asian pears) raspberries and blackberries.
Red Bridge United Methodist Church
Red Bridge United Methodist Church teamed up the Giving Grove to install a 10-fruit-tree orchard that includes apples, European pears, Asian pears, and peach trees. The installation team included volunteers from a local Girls’ Scout program, and numerous members of the church. All of the produce from this tree garden will go to local food pantries and kitchens.
Richardson Community Garden
Richardson Community Garden is on the grounds of a former elementary school which now serves as a teacher training and resource center. The community garden was opened in 2011 by Kansas City Community Gardens and features 42 ground plots and 20 raised beds. Volunteers from Mariner and Tortoise Capital Advisors helped the neighborhood install these 13 trees which include apples, Asian pears, and European pears.
Righteous Roots Garden and Orchard
Located in Kansas City, Kansas, the Righteous Roots garden and orchard is truly a community garden. The empty lot that is now Righteous Roots has been vacant since most residents can remember. In April of 2014, the Giving Grove – with the help of many members of the community – started to transform this lot into a productive space and a gathering spot for the community. The community plans to collect water from an adjoining building and to establish numerous vegetable plots for its residents. A portion of the produce will go to a free medical clinic down the street. This edible tree garden features seven trees, including cherry, apples, Asian pear, and European pear.
Ruth Moore Park Community Garden
Ruth Moore Park Community Garden is located in Liberty, Missouri. Liberty Parks and Recreation, in cooperation with Martha Lafite Nature Sanctuary, provides gardening classes for the community. The Ruth Moore Community Garden allows class participants the ability to put their gardening skills into action. Participants have the opportunity to harvest their produce for personal consumption and give fresh produce to Liberty's Meals on Wheels program and the local senior center. In April of 2014, the Giving Grove helped install 16 fruit trees (Cherries, Jujubes, Apples, Asian Pears, European Pears) and strawberry, raspberry and blackberry beds.
The mission of Sheffield Place is “To empower homeless mothers and their children to heal from their trauma and help them become self-sufficient.” The garden at Sheffield Place, a treatment and transitional living program for homeless mothers and their children, provides fresh produce for the 14 families that call Sheffield Place home. The garden grows fruits and vegetables and, thereby, provides the families with the therapeutic experience of gardening and also increases their familiarity with and willingness to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into their diets. In addition, the garden produces fresh herbs that are used in cooking and in the soaps that the mothers make as a part of the compensated work program to build entrepreneurial and employment skills. In the spring of 2014, the Giving Grove helped plant fruit trees to supplement the offerings from the garden.
Smithville United Methodist Church
The environmental team at Smithville United Methodist Church provided the leadership to install their Giving Grove edible tree garden. These trees have been uniquely designed to create a border around their outdoor sanctuary. Rain would not deter this planting team. This edible tree garden includes 10 apple trees, and all of the produce will go to local food pantries in the Smithville area.
St. Mary Magdelene Episcopal Church
St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal is located at 168th and Holmes, and has been growing vegetables for the Kansas City Community Kitchen at the Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Downtown Kansas City, a kitchen that serves 500 hot meals a day. Volunteers from Mary Magdalene planted 12 fruit trees along with raspberries and blackberries - all of which will find their way to the Community Kitchen.
Strawberry Hill Community Garden
Strawberry Hill Neighborhood Garden is a neighborhood association supported community garden located in downtown Kansas City, Kansas, with individual plots for raising vegetables and common herb, flower and fruit plantings tended by member gardeners. Excess produce is given away to neighbors and the Bethel Community Center food bank. This edible tree garden includes four new fruit trees (including peaches and cherries) and blackberries.
Terry and Cathy Matlack
Cathy and Terry Matlack have partnered with the Giving Grove as a way to give back to the community. In spring of 2014, members of St. Pauls United Methodist Church and the Giving Grove helped plant apple trees on their property. All of the produce from their trees will be harvested and directed to local food pantries. This edible tree garden includes two varieties of dwarf apples.
Turner Community Garden
Turner Community Garden is located on two acres of land owned by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. The land was previously overgrown and blighted serving as an illegal dump site. In 2010, with the help of the Turner Recreation Commission, the Board of Public Utilities and Turner Family Health, a community garden was established, providing an amazing transformation of the land. In 2011 a butterfly and children’s garden was added. Guinea hens and laying chickens patrol the area for insects. In May of 2014, 18 fruit trees (Peaches, Apples, Asian pears, European Pears) were added with the help of the Giving Grove and volunteers from Mariner and Tortoise Capital Advisors.
Heartland Habitat for Humanity
In 2014 the Giving Grove partnered with Heartland Habitat to plant fruit trees for those clients interested in including fruit trees in their new yards. By spring 2015 two homes in Wyandotte County and one in Johnson County had been planted with fruit trees. Heartland Habitat serves Wyandotte, Leavenworth and Johnson counties in Kansas and Clay and Platte counties in Missouri.
Hillcrest Transitional Ministries
Hillcrest Transitional Housing offers homeless families, singles and youth a disciplined educational program within a caring, supportive environment. Hillcrest’s primary objective is to move clients from homelessness to self-sufficiency within 90 days. The Hillcrest Transitional Housing team—championed by some local high school students from North Kansas City schools—led a project to install four apple trees, six pear trees and several bush cherries at the housing complex located in the Parkdale Walden neighborhood.
Hope United Methodist, Lone Jack
This church garden and orchard can be seen directly off Highway 50 in Lone Jack, Missouri. Since 2009 Hope UMC has been growing a garden that members affectionately refer to as “The Garden of Hope.” Much of the produce and all of the proceeds go to support local charities, especially the food pantry located at Disciples of Christ Church. In fall 2014 the Giving Grove, along with volunteers from the Mariner family of companies, helped members of Hope UMC install 20 fruit trees.
Johnson County, Kansas, Adult Residential Center
The Department of Corrections runs a minimum security detention center designed to reintegrate residential clients into the community as successful, productive citizens. The center features a large vegetable garden tended by the clients. In fall 2014, the center added 20 fruit trees to supplement the garden.
Johnson County, Kansas, Health Department WIC Garden
Johnson County Government is committed to improving the health of all Johnson County residents by improving access to healthy foods in the community. This goal is being achieved through administering a WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program and growing a community garden to educate, empower and feed clients in the Kansas WIC program. In fall 2014 WIC added 10 dwarf apple trees and three pear trees to supplement the garden.
Key Coalition Pocket Park
Directly east off of 71 highway and Linwood sites a formerly empty lot that now serves as an edible pocket garden. On a beautiful October day the Giving Grove with the Key Coalition Neighborhood and volunteers helped install 10 fruit trees. The garden features grazing fruits such as bush cherries, figs, and serviceberries. The garden also features bee friendly plants and a perennial herb garden.
Niles Home for Children
Niles Home has been a safe haven for children since 1883. Youth, staff and volunteers work together to plant and harvest a plentiful supply of fresh fruits and vegetables in an organic no-till garden, which is integral to academic instruction and therapeutic intervention. The home also runs the Niles Garden Market to increase community access to low-cost, organically grown foods. Through a partnership with the Housing Authority of Kansas City, Missouri, Niles Home has developed a second community garden and market at the Clymer Community Center.
This large single-site early education child care and social services facility serves over 400 children daily from Kansas City’s urban core. The mission of Operation Breakthrough is to help children who are living in poverty develop to their fullest potential by providing a safe, loving and educational environment. In fall 2014 four Asian pear trees, three apple trees and three bush cherries were added to the facility’s outdoor nature center for the children’s future use.
Red Bridge Neighborhood Association
The Red Bridge neighborhood is located in south Kansas City, Missouri. Throughout the neighborhood there are many traffic islands and landscaped entrances. In fall 2014 the neighborhood association turned one of these traffic islands into a micro-orchard by installing three Asian pear trees.
Ridgeview Senior Living
Many local residents in Ridgeview Village’s 65 units are active gardeners who tend 16 raised beds. In fall 2014 the Giving Grove installed five dwarf apple trees, which are watered by the management team and resident gardeners. These small fruit trees will offer easy access to the gardeners, other residents and visiting family members.
This 46-year-old nonprofit social services organization is located in Kansas City’s urban core. Center staff and volunteers provide a food pantry, thrift store, rent and utility assistance, socialization programs for older adults, and dental services. The center began a healthy food initiative by installing eight raised garden beds in early 2014. In the fall 12 Asian pear and apple trees were planted in collaboration with the Giving Grove. All produce from the garden and orchard will be shared with neighbors through food pantry distributions.
This neighborhood garden began in 2000 with a donated lot from Rockhurst University. Troostwood Gardens has since expanded to two city lots with help from the neighborhood. Some produce is sold to cover the cost of the garden, but most is given away to those who work in the garden and to elderly people in the neighborhood. In fall 2014 the Giving Grove added five fruit trees to supplement the produce offerings at Troostwood.
In fall 2014 the Giving Grove installed apple, pear and Asian pear trees at this church located in western Wyandotte county. The installation was followed by a Larry Keller Memorial Pecan Tree Planting. The harvest from these trees will be used in the pantry and kitchen of the church.