Arrowhead Middle School
This middle school serves the western portion of Kansas City, Kansas. In spring 2015, as part of a grant program through Mid-America Nazarene University, participating teachers were asked to engage small groups of children. One group of students elected to research a couple of species of fruit trees. This led to the development of a plan to add a Giving Grove orchard of eight apple and four pear trees near the entrance of the school. The trees are expected to produce almost 3,000 pounds of fruit annually.
Located in south Kansas City, Burke Elementary is a part of the Hickman Mills School District. In 2015, the English as a Second Language teacher, worked with the Giving Grove to install a 12-tree orchard. This orchard helps complement the vegetable beds that the kids have been tending for a few years.
Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, Shalom House
For more than 30 years Shalom House has offered shelter and hospitality to homeless men in Kansas City, Kansas. Originally started as a Catholic Worker House, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas assumed operation of the house in 2008. Each day Shalom House opens its doors to 25 men of all faiths in need of shelter, food and companionship. In spring 2015 the Giving Grove helped install 15 trees (apples, pears and Asian pears) at the Shalom House.
Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, Office
Founded in 1956, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas provides a wide range of programs and services to those in need in their 21-county service area. Since 1974 their Emergency Assistance Program has played a significant role in the community’s safety net for local families. Services provided meet the immediate, basic survival needs of families with low incomes, and a new emphasis includes “growing your own healthy produce.” The Giving Grove helped install three dwarf fruit trees and six bush cherries to serve the clients of Catholic Charities.
Christian Fellowship Baptist Church
In April 2015 the Giving Grove with Kansas City Community Gardens installed six fruit trees, blackberries and five raised vegetable beds on an empty lot owned by Christian Fellowship Baptist. The church and its Freedom School’s garden club have taken a keen interest in the garden and orchard. The garden and orchard will not only provide healthy food it will reconnect the youth to the outdoors.
Eighteen Broadway DST Garden
In fall 2008 DST Systems decided to do something special with a block of land located in downtown Kansas City’s Crossroads District at 18th Street and Broadway. The initial idea was to create a series of rain gardens in the spirit of Kansas City’s 10,000 Rain Gardens initiative.
DST met with planners and designers at 360 Architecture. As the conversation evolved, so did the flow of ideas and the notion that this site could serve as an environmental showcase and demonstration project. Stormwater is captured off the streets, filtered and reused for native plantings and raised vegetable beds. All of the produce from the gardens in donated directly to Harvesters. In April of 2015 the Giving Grove added an espaliered apple trellis, jujubes, hazelnuts and bush cherries to the site.
Englewood Baptist Church (Englewood Community Farm)
For decades Englewood Church in Gladstone, Missouri, has worked hard to help make sure hungry people have food. In fall 2014 a conversation began there. The purpose was to find new ways to address issues related to food in the community and the world. From these conversations Englewood recognized the value of a food pantry to provide relief to families or individuals in an emergency. And so a farm came to be. The first phase of a Giving Grove orchard began with the planting of 12 fruit trees and patches of raspberries and blackberries. Future plans include the possibility of adding nuts and another phase of fruit trees.
This college preparatory academy aims to develop educated, compassionate, self-motivated leaders who prepare for life-long career options and give back to their community. To that end, the school has installed a local garden and orchard to serve the community. Numerous residents from the area take advantage of the free produce. Hogan Prep Middle School science students have been involved in the garden since its construction in fall 2013.
Kansas City, Missouri, Parks Department, Harmony Park
Located in the Independence Plaza neighborhood in Northeast KCMO, this park is approximately one square block and features a spray ground and playground equipment. In spring 2015 the Giving Grove, with the help of neighbors and the KCMO Parks Department, planted apples, pears, bush cherries and hazelnuts. The orchard is being cared for by a group of local neighbors.
Lee’s Summit Parks Department, Woods Playground
This site was donated in 1976 by Randy and Mary Beth Woods. Families in the surrounding homes are able to enjoy the feel of their own personal playground in this quarter-acre park located on Little Avenue northwest of downtown Lee’s Summit. In spring 2015 five fruit trees and two bush cherries were planted by the Giving Grove and Lee’s Summit Parks.
Pleasant Valley Baptist Church
The Garden Ministry began in 2009 with the idea of a free farmers market as a way to benefit the church and the community in a downturned economy. Initially it was furnished with produce from about 50 offsite gardens, but the following year an onsite garden was planted, which is now maintained and harvested by a team of volunteers. The free farmers market is open from the end of June through September on Wednesday and Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings, and serves an average of 150-200 persons a week. The Giving Grove added two large beds of raspberries and two beds of blackberries in spring 2015 to supplement the church’s market.
Rosedale Middle School
With help from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks’ Outdoor Wildlife Learning Site grant, the Giving Grove in spring 2015 helped a group of local residents and middle school students install an edible landscape in the courtyard of Rosedale Middle. The site features a diverse planting comprised of elderberry, jujubes, aronia berry, figs, bush cherries, serviceberry, raspberries, apples and pears.
Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church
Located at 9400 Pflumm Road in Lenexa, this church is at the former Don Bonjour elementary school. A planting by the Giving Grove in spring 2015 complements the community garden established by the church in 2014. The edible orchard consists of six apple and six pear trees, two bush cherries, a fig tree, two raised beds of blackberries and raspberries, and a pollinator-friendly flower garden. This Giving Grove project is a cooperative effort of Girl Scout Troops 421 and 806 and church members. The gardens and the orchard serve as part of the church’s hunger ministry, with all fruit eventually being donated to food pantries and kitchens serving those in need in the greater KC metro area.
Spring Hill, Kansas, Friendship Park
As part of Daffodil Days in late April 2015, the Giving Grove planted six fruit trees in Friendship Park. The orchard will be maintained by local Rotarians, but supported by the Spring Hill Parks and Recreation Department. The planting was assisted by surrounding neighborhoods and Parks and Recreation staff. Once the trees begin producing, flyers will be distributed to nearby low-income housing, and some fruit may also be delivered to local pantries.
Planted on the campus in Fall of 2015 beside a community garden, this Giving Grove orchard contains four Asian pears, four European pears, and four apple trees. The purpose of the orchard is to provide fruit that may be distributed to local fresh food pantries, which will help in the mission to serve neighbors in our community.
Central Middle School
This orchard, planted by science students, contains four apple and four European pear trees.
This backyard neighborhood orchard sponsored by Christian Fellowship Baptist Church contains five European pear trees, two Asian pear trees, four apple trees and a blackberry bed.
Evangel Spiritual Temple
E.S.T. Community Orchard was installed to complete a need in the community for fresh fruit. In conjunction with the community garden located onsite, the orchard will provide fresh fruit for the families in need in the area. The E.S.T. community’s goal is to feed at minimum 20 families, and as the harvest increases, to be able to feed and help even more. The need is great in the surrounding neighborhoods, and the congregation plans to transform the area from a food desert into a place where hunger is scarce and families have access to plenty of fresh food.
Harmon High School
This orchard is part of the Harmon Outdoor Wildlife Learning Site (HOWLS), which includes a prairie, a wetland and other wildlife habitats. The trees, however, are intended as a source of nutrition for humans, particularly those who come to the school each month for food assistance. Environmental science students worked with volunteers from Microsoft to plant two jujubes, five pears and four apple trees in the fall of 2015 and hope to plant more in the future.
The 5415 Garden is a community garden managed by the Indian Mound Neighborhood Association. Over the past five years, neighborhood gardeners have transformed the site from a trash-filled vacant lot into a productive space with 15 raised garden beds. In the fall of 2015, the community partnered with The Giving Grove to plant three Asian pear trees, three apple trees, and two bush cherries. Stewards look forward to harvesting the fruit from these trees in the coming years and sharing the harvest with neighbors.
Kansas City Kansas Community College
This campus orchard is located beside the college’s vegetable garden. The orchard includes three Asian pears trees, four apple trees, three European pear trees, and three bush cherry shrubs. Stewards plan to give at least half of the fruit that the grove will bear to students in need. Wyandotte County has a higher food insecurity rate than the Kansas average, making the orchard especially important for Wyandotte residents to access nutritious food. The trees will also help absorb stormwater, prevent erosion, and sequester carbon into the soil, reducing the college’s carbon footprint.
Lone Elm Community Garden
Located at Christ Community Church of the Nazarene in Northwest Olathe, the Lone Elm Community Garden serves the surrounding schools, neighborhoods, and larger community by creating a place for families, groups, and individuals to come and experience the miracle of gardening in an inviting environment. The goal of the garden is to connect community members to the earth and to each other through gardening, hospitality, and education. In Fall 2015, The Giving Grove helped expand the garden to include an orchard consisting of nine trees (apples, pears, and Asian pears) and two bush cherries. The congregation donates produce from the garden to several food pantries in the area including the Kansas City Rescue Mission, New Hope Food Pantry, Center of Grace, and Manna Ministries.
A project of Longfellow Community Association, Longfellow Farm grows vegetables, fruits, and herbs to feed the neighborhood. Neighbors work together to grow, distribute, and preserve the harvest, while learning and sharing ways to make Longfellow more food secure, vibrant, sustainable, and healthy. All neighbors are welcome to join in growing healthy and delicious food together. Longfellow Farm was established in April of 2015, and the Giving Grove orchard was planted in the fall of 2016. It contains 14 trees, including jujube, Asian pear, European pear and apple as well as four bush cherry shrubs and a blackberry bed.
Kansas City, Missouri, Parks Department, Lykins Square Park
This planting continues a key Giving Grove partnership with the Kansas City, Missouri Department of Parks and Recreation, who provides land and water for growing community orchards. Stewarded by the Lykins Neighborhood Association President, this orchard contains three European pear trees, four Asian pear trees, five apple trees and three bush cherry shrubs.
Olathe Bible Church
The Giving Grove orchard planted in Fall 2015 added two European pears, four apples, and two Asian pear trees to an existing planting of three pear and three apple trees. The orchard complements an established community garden on the property.
Olathe Parks and Recreation Department, North Walnut Park
The Giving Grove partnered with the Olathe Parks and Recreation Department to identify an appropriate park with water access for an orchard planting. Two interested stewards agreed to maintain the orchard for the use of the park community. The orchard contains six apple trees, four European pear trees, and three jujube trees.
The Peery Apartments, part of a series of facilities operated by the Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH), under the guidance of the Center for Behavioral Medicine / Alternative Services, have planted one apple tree, two Asian pear trees, two bush cherry shrubs, and a raised bed of raspberries. The goal of this project is to teach the current client population how to develop and care for self-sustaining food sources. They also have a thriving garden area with raised beds provided through KCCG. Clients at the facility are gaining knowledge in growing fresh food and will have the ongoing opportunity to share produce and fruits with other DMH facilities and area community food banks. Clients are excited about learning, growing foods, preparing healthy meals and sharing with friends and neighbors.
Richardson Early Learning Center
Richardson Community Learning School has worked with The Giving Grove and Kansas City Community Gardens since opening in 2014. Children and teachers integrate learning about food as part of science exploration with the educational curriculum. As the grove of trees mature, children will use the produce in the classrooms and will take home food to share with their families.
Ronald McDonald House
Established in 2015, the first phase of planting included three varieties of Hazelnuts, three semi-dwarf apples trees and three Asian pears. In the years to come the grove will serve as a source of nourishment as well as a therapeutic outlet for families away from the long hours inside hospitals and medical facilities. Staff at The Ronald McDonald house are very excited for the trees to blossom into beautiful fruit bearing trees.
Woodland Early Learning Center
The Kansas City Public Schools' Woodland Early Learning Community School is now supporting a mini orchard for children and families in the Northeast community. The orchard, located at 711 Woodland Avenue, is a new source of fresh fruits and nuts for the 300 families the school serves as well as the surrounding community. The community is excited to be a part of the Giving Grove and look forward to expanding the orchard program in the future.