Gainesville’s Edible Groves Project Is Underway


The seeds of an idea to improve community access to fresh food were planted at a Gainesville city workshop two years ago.

It’s now coming to fruition.

City staff worked with botanists to select the tree species best fit to survive in Gainesville, and they decided on chestnut, kumquat, loquat, mulberry, orange, nectarine, persimmon, peach, pear, pecan, and tangerine. In February, the city of Gainesville edible groves project began planting fruit and nut-bearing trees at two parks in Gainesville: Fred Cone Park and Smokey Bear Park.

“Hopefully folks will realize that this is a benefit to the community as well as to the environment. And take what they’ll eat for their family to enjoy and then come back out and meet other neighbors,” city spokesperson Rossana Passaniti said. “It’s really a wonderful opportunity and we’re hoping that this will be something that is a lifelong way to create a sustainable community for all.”

The city’s hope is that these trees will one day bear fruit and nuts for people to pick and enjoy, making an attempt to address food insecurity while bringing the community together.

About Rachelle Westervelt

Rachelle is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing

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