An innovative project is underway in Boulder, Montana to create an edible park called The Boulder Forest Garden. The City of Boulder has donated the use of 1 acre of ground, conveniently located adjacent to an existing city park, to develop a gardening system that mimics a natural woodland environment.
Started by Growing Community Naturally (GCN), a local community volunteer group, this grass-roots project is using permaculture design principles to build living soil, harvest rain water in the landscape, and cultivate a perennial based food system. The Boulder Forest Garden will educate students and community members on methods for sustainably growing food in our northern climate and be a location to harvest fresh, delicious, chemical-free food.
By partnering with the 21st Century Community Learning Center, a program that provides after school and summer programming, morning tutoring, and adult education, GCN will be able to include the Boulder Elementary students and adult education students in the planning and care of The Boulder Forest Garden project.
You would just need to write up some text to go with it about the fundraiser and perhaps also share something else non promotional about something like how to build permaculture momentum in the community context.
Just to reiterate, The Boulder Elementary School will be involved with implementation and maintenance of this garden. I believe this to be a huge step in the right direction. Teach the children and the children will teach the parents.
The community food forest garden concept that involves a local population including children can be a powerful force for positive change.
The Seattle Beacon Food Forest is a famous community food forest, but it's important to recognize that community food forests can exist in smaller communities like Boulder, Montana. Sometimes these communities need a modest financial push to help bring the project to life.
We are down to the final days of our online fund raiser for the Boulder Forest Garden. We are so happy to have raised 75% of our goal of $3500 at this time. With only 8 days left we need help to meet our goal. If we reach the $3500 goal the Indiegogo site that is hosting our campaign takes a smaller percentage of the money allowing more to go to the project.
What is the project? There is a great little video and a write up about the Boulder Forest Garden when you click on the link below. This garden is very special in that it is a perennial system. That means that we don't have to replant it each year. Also, this garden is being designed and planted in a way that it will provide its own fertilizer and mulch as well as harvest some of it's own water for irrigation.
What will it grow? The Boulder Forest Garden will be planted with a variety of fruit bearing trees and shrubs, perennial herbs and vegetables, as well as flowers for pollinators and plants that build soil fertility.
Who will use it?
This edible, woodland park will be used by the local community to harvest fresh food and also be a place for gathering propagation material such as seeds and plants to start similar gardens at private homes. Through a program at the Boulder Elementary School called the 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLS), students will be involved in all stages of development and harvesting at the Boulder Forest Garden. In fact the students have already helped with fund raising and seeding beneficial plants on the site. Through the 21st CCLS we have the funds available to teach adult education classes at the Boulder Forest Garden allowing participants to learn how to develop this type of productive, low-maintenance, sustainable,woodland garden.
We also have developed a relationship with Alternative Youth Adventures (AYA), a youth behavioral treatment facility in our community and will be engaging the residents in their program in our garden allowing them to build skills and connect with nature.
What is happening at the site?
We are actively working on the site with weekly work days and have removed the old fence and with the help of the Montana Conservation Corp have started installing the new deerfence to protect the young trees we will be planting next spring. After over two years of planning Dave and I are excited to get rolling.
The Elkhorn Foundation in Boulder recently awarded us with our first grant for the project! $1000, to be used towards our drip irrigation system.
Please take a few minutes and click on the links and check out our blog site and our fund raiser. If you could give even 5 bucks it would make a difference for this project. Maybe you know someone you could forward this to that may be interested. We appreciate all the donations we have received and the words of encouragement. If you are interested in learning about forest gardening, permaculture or would just like to lend a hand for a worthy cause please contact us.