People for Palmer Park create orchards with 800-plus tree plantings

Orchards are making a comeback at Palmer Park thanks to a massive tree-planting initiative by local activist group People for Palmer Park.

The non-profit led an initiative that has planted 820 apple tree saplings this spring in two orchards on the western edge of Palmer Park. There are also plans to create three more smaller orchards for apples, pears, peaches and other fruits on the northern edge of the park in the near future.

"All of this was born out of the mayor, City Council and local residents creating a solution to take of this gem," says Daniel Scarsella, a board member of the People for Palmer Park and liason for preservation and beautification for the non-profit.

Palmer Park is the major green space in 7 Mile/Livernois area, which is part of the city's NEXT Detroit initiative. City officials organized local residents three years ago to begin creating long-term plans for the park, which are now starting to literally come to fruition with the apple tree orchards.

Palmer Park
was created in the 1920s from the estate of Thomas Palmer, who did have orchards on the southern edge of the park where most of the neighborhood's Art Deco apartment buildings are currently located. The local residents and neighborhood advocates behind the People for Palmer Park choose to bring back the apple orchards so the fruits of those trees can help feed the horses from the Detroit Police Department's Mounted Division, which is located in the park, and for events at park. And then there are the aesthetic enhancements.

"You have a nice bloom in the spring," Scarsella says.

Source: Daniel Scarsella, a board member of the People for Palmer Park
Writer: Jon Zemke

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