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Greenbelt Food Forest: Phase I Photo Journal

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City of Greenbelt Public Works, Camp Fire USA, Citizens to Conserve and Restore Indian Creek (CCRIC), CHEARS – Chesapeake Education, Arts, and Research Society, Ancestral Knowledge, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust are all working together to help improve water quality in our local watershed and throughout the Chesapeake Bay region by establishing the Greenbelt Food Forest.

Phase I of the project consisted of rain garden installation and water quality monitoring workshops linked with a workday at Three Sisters Demonstration Garden. Our goal is to provide safe outdoor classroom spaces to be used for intergenerational education, eco-arts, food production and community gatherings.

The City of Greenbelt was founded on the concepts of community design & “green” planning, in which every acre is put to its best and most sustainable use. Permaculture and other best land management practices are now being formally established throughout the city.

A major focus of Permaculture is Forest Gardening, which looks at the ecological interactions of healthy forest systems and integrates those strategies into our own methods of food production, water capture & storage, development, and energy usage.

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Greenbelt Food Forest: Phase I Photo Journal

  1. 1. www.greenbeltfoodforest.com Springhill Lake 6101 Cherrywood LaneRecreation Center Greenbelt, MD 20770 Phase I Photo Journal
  2. 2. The City of Greenbelt was founded on the concepts ofcommunity design & “green” planning, in which every acre is put to its best and most sustainable use. Permacultureand other best land management practices are now being formally established throughout the city.A major focus of Permaculture is Forest Gardening, which looks at the ecological interactions of healthy forest systems and integrates those strategies into our own methods of food production, water capture & storage, natural building, and energy usage. http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6014/5950647589_9c3808d0c3_z.jpg
  3. 3. City of Greenbelt Public Works, Camp Fire USA, Citizens to Conserve and Restore Indian Creek (CCRIC), CHEARS – ChesapeakeEducation, Arts, and Research Society, Ancestral Knowledge, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust are all working together to help improve water quality in our local watershed and throughout the Chesapeake Bay region by establishing the Greenbelt Food Forest.Phase I of the project consisted of rain garden installation and waterquality monitoring workshops linked with a workday at Three Sisters Demonstration Garden. Our goal is to provide safe outdoor classroom spaces to be used for intergenerational education, eco- arts, food production and community gatherings.
  4. 4. Earth Day CelebrationSaturday, April 21, 2012
  5. 5. Mayor Judith Davis and Council Members Emmett Jordan, Konrad Herling and Edward Putens dig to plant anative black chokeberry, held by council member Silke Pope.
  6. 6. Residents of Greenbelt and friends of the Earthgathered at Springhill Lake Recreation Center to learn more about the purpose of rain gardens and their impact on nearby Indian Creek stream. Rain gardens will help to capture water, reduce erosion, attract beneficial pollinators, and bring beauty to the park, which improves the quality of life for residents and visitors…
  7. 7. …even for our smallest friends!
  8. 8. The prepared areas were very susceptible to storm water runoff due to the sloped impervious parking lot surface, so rain gardens were installed on each side of the drain pipe that leads to Indian Creek.
  9. 9. Mayor Judith Davis (holding shovel) and Greenbelt City CouncilMembers, along with residents of Greenbelt, plant the first shrub to kick-off the celebration of Earth Day 2012.
  10. 10. Lesley Riddle, Assistant Director of Public Works for the City of Greenbelt, planned out the design of the gardenand the selection of native Chesapeake Bay friendly plants.
  11. 11. We also planted some trees, oneof which is held by City Council member RodneyRoberts, leading to the stream…
  12. 12. …with help fromMiss Greenbelt and friends…
  13. 13. We had plenty ofhelpers, planting a cinnamon fern on the edge.
  14. 14. Planting was fun for everyone!
  15. 15. Once our rain garden was set up, Kim Walsh from CHEARS wateredthe plants to help them settle into their new habitat.
  16. 16. This is only the beginning of the Greenbelt Food Forest project inconnection with CHEARS’ Three Sisters Demonstration Gardens project.
  17. 17. Water Quality MonitoringSaturday, May 19, 2012
  18. 18. CHEARS, Camp Fire USA, and CCRIC hosted a “Train the Trainer” workshop to teach local community members about water quality testing methods in Indian Creek.
  19. 19. Many parts of Greenbeltare within the Indian Creek sub-watershed, which ispart of the Anacostia River that flows into the Chesapeake Bay. (http://www.ccric.org/IC_Watershed/IC.htm)
  20. 20. People of all interests and backgrounds gathered to learn and practice techniques for measuring pH, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, and temperature…
  21. 21. …and how to identify andexamine macroinvertebrates that tell us the biodiversity and health of the stream.
  22. 22. We studied the habitat and examined the stream as an ecosystem.
  23. 23. MOM’s Organic Market in College Park donated healthy andtasty snacks to keep us going while we learned and worked.
  24. 24. We split ourselves intopartner groups to complete our surveys and tests…
  25. 25. …and had lots of fun doing it. Sometimes you just have todance it out for the environment!
  26. 26. Maria Sgambati, M.D., a trained biologist, physician, and outreach educator, spent a fewhours helping us learn about the health of the creek and best practices in measuring it.
  27. 27. Adults and youth in thecommunity joined us to learn observationtechniques and how to use the equipment to collect stream data.
  28. 28. We snacked on ripe mulberries from trees in the area as we collected the data.
  29. 29. It was a great day to be learning outside!
  30. 30. At the beginning of this training, we were not optimistic about the health of our creek.
  31. 31. During ourinvestigation, however, we found some good news!
  32. 32. We discovered that our pH andturbidity measurements were near acceptable ranges…
  33. 33. …and we even found some sensitive species of insects, including mayflies and stoneflies!
  34. 34. Habitat assessment surveysdetermined that the creek’sbuffer zone is much smaller than the accepted range, which will continue to cause problems if not corrected.
  35. 35. Since the Greenbelt Food Forest will be established directly adjacent to this portion of the creek, the trees, shrubs, and herbaceous perennials it will contain will reduce erosion, increase tree canopy, and provide a demonstration of diverse native fruits and plants.
  36. 36. It will also provide a more functional place for the community to enjoy, adding to the playground, mulberry trees, and Three Sisters Demonstration Garden’s outdoor classroom.
  37. 37. We will get to use the skills that we learned later this summer to teach local Camp Fire USA andGreenbelt Middle School studentsabout our local water quality and monitoring techniques.
  38. 38. We’d like to give a big thank you to all those who have made Phase I of the Greenbelt Food Forest project a success!• CHEARS – Chesapeake Education, Arts,and Research Society• City of Greenbelt Public Works• Camp Fire USA• Citizens to Conserve and Restore IndianCreek (CCRIC)• Greenbelt Advisory Committee onEnvironmental Sustainability (Green ACES)• Ancestral Knowledge• Chesapeake Bay Trust And a special thank you to ourfriends and neighbors in Greenbelt! Thank You!

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