SRU Good News for Nov. 17, 2009
MS3 graduates' 'food forest' plan earns praise
Juliette Jones and Michelle Czolba's idea to convert four empty lots in a struggling Pittsburgh neighborhood into a "food forest" of trees, herbs and fruit-bearing shrubs earned them a profile in Sunday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Jones, '00 and Czolba, '09, both sustainable systems graduates, formed a license agreement with the city's Urban Redevelopment Authority, which owns the four, weed-choked lots in Hazelwood. They obtained an $8,000 grant from the Sprout Fund for the project.
"Planting and growing my own food organically, that's what drives me," Jones told the Post-Gazette. "That is a way I can make a positive change, and then being able to share that with the community in important."
Jones moved to Hazelwood in June and conceived the idea for growing fresh food on the quarter-acre site. Unlike the community garden approach, the food forest will be planted in zones consisting of trees, perennial fruit-bearing shrubs, herbs and plants that produce each year. They are considering strawberries, asparagus, rhubarb, blueberries and raspberries.
They also hope to offer workshops at the garden this spring and summer.
Jones works for REI, an outdoor equipment store. Czolba, of Lawrenceville, works for TreeVitalize Pittsburgh, a non-profit organization working to plant trees.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.
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