Be Part of Creating the Food Forest in Bloomington

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Food Forest Work Day

Join University of Illinois Extension in planting the first food forest located in a city park in Illinois. You can be a part of food forest history on May 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. as we plant this forest at One Normal Plaza, which is located at the intersection of Beech St. and Lincoln St., in Normal. Three shifts are available with start times between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. For registration and more information please visit If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please call the McLean County Extension office at (309) 663-8306.

"We will be planting a diverse mix of thousands of plants, including: fruit and nut trees, berries, herbs, prairie plants, hybrid poplars and more," says University of Illinois Extension-Livingston, McLean and Woodford Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator, Bill Davison.An experienced crew from Midwest Agriculture and Restoration Services will lead the planting and they will be able to meet most equipment needs; however,we recommend bringing your own work/gardening gloves, stools, pads or other comfort items. Shovels, trowels, or dibble bars are encouraged but not required.

Crews of volunteers will do light drilling or diggingthrough the loose, tilled soil to set prairie plants, trees, and shrubs. Volunteers of all ages welcome.We especially encourage youth to come see the birth of a public space that will grow over a lifetime(we recommend children be at least old enough to work alongside a parent and/or another adult).

The Refuge Food Forest will be an urban oasis consisting of a diverse planting of fruit, nuts, and perennial vegetables.The fruits and nuts produced in the food forest will be free and available for any one to pick for themselves.The long-term goal of this project is to reconnect people with the source of their food and to help create educated consumers that will support the continued development of our local food system.