An Iowa BIG student-led project to design and install an urban fruit orchard at Noelridge Park concluded with tree plantings in the park in honor of Arbor Day on April 24. The year-long project involved the Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department, City Arborist, Blue Zones Project(R) Cedar Rapids, ISU Extension, Trees Forever, and Hughes Nursery.
Students worked with the partner organizations and professional design consultants with a goal of creating an urban orchard for Noelridge Park that uses a variety of hardy, disease resistant fruit trees. Trees such as apple, pear, plum and cherry were donated for the project. This is the first urban orchard planted in the city park system. Students from Harding Middle School also assisted in planting the trees.