Morrie Harrell Playground Reserve – Fruit and Nut Tree Planting
On Saturday, 4 August 2012, over 40 local residents, elected members and Council staff joined together to plant 71 fruit and nut trees in Morrie Harrell Playground reserve; including stone fruit, citrus fruit, apples, pears, mulberries, walnut, macadamia, almond, chestnut and guava trees.
For a relatively small establishment cost, this innovative trial increases local food security and reduces the impact of the rising costs of fresh produce on the local community. Reflecting Council's Food Security Strategy, and supported by Council's Community Sustainability Advisory Group, this is considered to be a new way to engage with public space; a productive landscape ideally suited to social exchange.
This trial was borne from community-minded individuals "thinking outside the square", and believing such a trial may potentially be more beneficial than simply replacing those removed specimens with something similar. This is not considered to be a formal, fenced and exclusive community garden; instead the fruit and nuts produced by these trees belong to the community and anyone accessing the reserve can share in it.
By involving the community from the initial planning stages, through the planting and maintaining of the trees it is hoped that the local community feel ownership of the site and will be interested in increasing their own ability to look after the site and also grow food in their own gardens.
Council will monitor the success of this trial and will work with the community to increase awareness of food security issues within the City of Unley and to build local expertise for maintaining the fruit and nut trees.