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L.A.'s First Public Fruit Park is Set to Open

Photo of a mature orange tree by Antonov Roman via Shutterstock
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Los Angeles, get ready to get to know your very first public fruit park! Wait, what's a fruit park, you ask? No, it's not a designated spot for eccentrics and oddballs, it's actually a public art project aimed at building community through the installation and maintenance of an urban orchard.

The project is the work of the collective Fallen Fruit (LAist coverage), who worked with the Office of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and the Department of Parks and Recreation to plant the public orchard now known as the Del Aire Fruit Park. Not only does this urban food source break ground as the first of its kind in L.A., but it's also the first of its kind in California.

Here's the official description:

The fruit park includes an orchard with 27 fruit trees, ranging from peach to plum, 8 native grapevines and edible herbs — all of which will be harvested freely by the community.
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Additionally, over 60 fruit trees were distributed in the neighborhood, allowing locals to really align with the community spirit of the project and the scope of the Fruit Park.

Here's a little more about the trees in the park from Fallen Fruit:

Through this collaboration Fallen Fruit invite the citizens of Los Angeles to reconsider their relationship with public and urban space to explore the meaning of community through sharing and creating new and abundant resources. The fruit trees planted in Del Aire Fruit Park reflect the natural ripening of fruit during a season, plums and peaches in the summer, pomegranate and persimmon in the fall, and citrus such as lime, lemons, oranges and kumquats over the winter and spring.

The Del Aire Fruit Park is holding a public dedication Saturday, January 5, from 10:30-11 a.m.

The trees, however, are still in their slender infancy, and the park's "full transformation will take time," cautions Fallen Fruit. (Read: Don't go expecting to cart away truckloads of free fruit.) However, events like fruit tree giveaways and the "Public Jam" held last year are the kinds of community activities aimed at further drawing in Angelenos to be a part of the landscape.