Thousands of people go to bed hungry in the United States every day. Even though America is one of the richest countries in the world, many of its citizens don’t have the means to secure high quality, healthy foods for their families.
Meanwhile, thousands of miles of land sit vacant or unused. Some of these vacant parcels have market potential, writes Michael A. Pagano, but many won’t rebound soon, if ever. What if instead of allowing these lots to collect weeds and litter, cities helped residents to transform them using edible landscaping?
The City of Irvine decided to try just such an experiment. In 2008, the city was looking for a way to develop a 7-acre vacant lot that cost taxpayers over $4,000 a year to maintain (i.e. control the weeds). By collaborating with Southern California Edison and the Second Harvest Food Bank, among others, the City created the Incredible Edible park. Just over three years later, produce harvested from the park helps the food bank feed 200,000 hungry people every month. The site now also includes a bike trail that connects to the Irvine trail system and the City has plans to add additional acres in the future.
Watch the video below to take a tour of the park with John from Growing Your Greens, and ask yourself why there isn’t a park like this in every city.
Image Credit: Flickr- celesteh