About a year ago, Great Bend planted a seed that should begin to bear fruit in a few years. Last week was the anniversary of the creation of the Great Bend Community Orchard. That’s right--our community has an orchard of apple trees that someday we can picnic at, use for a photo backdrop, learn orcharding skills like pruning and grafting, harvest fruit from for community outreach projects or cooking classes through our Barton County Extension or Barton County Health Department.
In order for the vision of this orchard to mature into ripeness, it’s going to take the work of more than just one Barton County Extension employee. Alicia Boor helped to spearhead the project, and has taken on the daunting task of caring for the orchard through its first season.
Now is the time for those who care to step up and volunteer to help with the simple chores it takes to make an orchard all it can be.
Great Bend High School students Wednesday, during Make a Difference Day, helped out by laying pavers donated by Kansas Brick, Hoisington, almost a year ago. They also helped with re mulching around the trees to help keep weeds down. Now it’s time for the rest of us to step up.
If you have a few hours to spare this year, enjoy being out in nature, spending time at the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo, and aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty (just a little), contact Alicia Boor at the Barton County Extension Office, and find out what you can do. A great first step will be the tree-trimming workshop this Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the orchard, which is located near the butterfly house on the north side of the zoo.
Great Bend is a wonderful and special place to live, and it stays that way with each of us doing a little so we all benefit a lot.
-- Veronica Coons