Guest post by Michael Flynn of Common Vision

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This spring marked the 10th consecutive year that Common Vision brought the bio-powered, Fruit Tree Tour to public school campuses throughout California. In just the last year, 18 volunteer educators and tree experts ran 93 school programs from the Mexican border to Chico, California. They cared for 1,500 maturing fruit trees and planted 350 new fruit trees at schools throughout San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay area.

Common Vision is dedicated to infusing art with environmental education. Through its “eco-arts” workshops, more 3,000 students this past year worked together to design and paint 600 colorful signs that turned the orchards into an even more inviting and creative campus space. In Common Vision’s next phase, it will support schools as they integrate their orchards into everyday school life through students eating fresh school-grown fruit, as well as though curriculum that uses the orchard as a living classroom to teach core subjects.

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“A fruit tree solves both a local and a global problem at the same time, so just by one simple act you can actually create larger change,” says Megan Watson of Common Vision.

After a rigorous assessment of all plantings over the past decade of tours, Common Vision counts almost 100 thriving school orchards that have taken root and are bearing fruit, and the organization expects to see another 50 orchards join the ranks of the thriving, fruitful orchards in the coming years.

“We want that orchard to be a reminder of an opportunity to gather your forces with your community and serve something larger than yourself,” says Michael Flynn of Common Vision.

Check out this 5-minute movie on a decade of school orchard planting and care, and let’s work together to make fresh fruit growing in every schoolyard a delicious reality.

Organic Valley is proud to sponsor Common Vision for its impact on children’s lives today and into the future.