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In honor of Arbor Day, the City of Pierre is partnering with a local Girl Scout troop to establish a community orchard. The orchard will feature fruit trees and be located on city-owned land at 1201 E. Sully Avenue.
According to Pierre Parks and Recreation Director Tom Farnsworth, Troop 40080 brought the idea forward.
“Several months back, the group approached the City’s Arbor Board about the project,” said Farnsworth. “They had a really solid plan and said they’d maintain the property if we provided the land.”
Community members will be invited to harvest fruit from the orchard for the food pantry, community meals or personal use. Though, Farnsworth said that this is a long range project.
“It takes anywhere between two and six years for the trees to produce fruit,” said Farnsworth. “I’m pleased we have such a dedicated community group willing to put in the time and the effort to give back to Pierre.”
Mayor Harding will dedicate the Community Orchard at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 5 at the Sully Avenue site.
Tree City USA
During the dedication ceremony, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture will recertify the City of Pierre as a Tree City USA. This marks the 35th year, Pierre has been named a Tree City USA. To be recognized as a Tree City USA, a community has to demonstrate sound urban forestry practices that include having an Arbor Board and tree-maintenance ordinances.
Tree Care Seminar
In addition to the Saturday activities, Dr. John Ball from South Dakota State University will provide a public tree care seminar. It’s scheduled for Thursday, May 3 at 7 p.m. The seminar will be held at the SDSU Regional Extension Center located at 412 W. Missouri Avenue. The event is free and open to the public.