KTSCB Receives Grant for Community Orchard

Grant money is headed to Toccoa to help start a community orchard.

Keep Toccoa-Stephens County Beautiful said that it has received a $1,500 grant from the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation’s Community Orchard Project.

The grant is to plant an orchard in the city.

Keep Toccoa-Stephens County Beautiful Executive Director Linda Scofield said the grant will plant five or six trees in a city lot on Whitman Street in Toccoa.

“It is going to be used for a lot across from the Boys and Girls Club,” said Scofield. “They have been trying to get a community garden going there for quite some time and so we are going to start with these trees, which will be fruit trees.”

According to Scofield, the plan is to plant five or six peach and apple trees, with a crabapple tree for pollinating.

She said the Boys and Girls Club will work with Keep Toccoa-Stephens County Beautiful and other agencies on planting and then tending to this orchard.

“We really feel that this is a good teaching opportunity and I think they are going to really enjoy it,” said Scofield.

Scofield said that Keep Toccoa-Stephens County Beautiful hopes that the trees will provide fresh fruit for that area and the Boys and Girls Club for years to come.

Meanwhile, Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation Executive Director Sarah Visser said the Community Orchard Project gives communities the financial and technical resources they need to integrate orchards into public spaces.

Visser added that the goal is to reconnect Georgians to their food supply and demonstrate the benefits of growing food right in communities.

Since starting in 2012, the Community Orchard Project has planted more than 180 trees in six communities.

This planting season represents the biggest ever for the program, with ten projects going in across the state.