College campuses are often known for their beautiful grounds and stately academic buildings. Soon, apple, pear, plum, peach and sour cherry trees will adorn the campus at Millersville University.
MU and two other PASSHE universities are partnering with The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation to create a fruit orchard on Millersville and Lock Haven University campuses. This opportunity was made available by a PASSHE Faculty Professional Development Committee grant. The grant was submitted by Drs. Nathan Thomas and Sarah Meiss from Shippensburg and PennWest California University. Dr. Ryan Wagner, chair of biology at Millersville, was also included on the grant as Millersville University’s principal contact.
The $7,988 grant will be split between Lock Haven and Millersville University to provide funding for all the materials needed to complete the orchard.
The orchard includes 40 trees consisting of a variety of fruits next to the Millersville water tower. Wagner, says the orchard will be used to benefit both the University and the Millersville community. “Some goals for the orchard involve using it as a community-building experience/resource, using it to alleviate food insecurity locally and to use it as a teaching tool for the Department of Biology. It is also our plan to partner with the HUB, a free on-campus food pantry for students, and other local food banks as fruit donation recipients from the orchard.”
The trees were planted on Friday, Sept. 16 at 10 a.m. and will take three to five years to produce fruit. Volunteers from the University and surrounding community are invited to participate in the installation as no experience is necessary.
About the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation
The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation is an international non-profit charity dedicated to alleviating world hunger while improving the environment and building communities. For more information: https://www.ftpf.org/
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