Fruit for all

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Nancy Anderson of Estherville spearheaded a dream of food forests in Estherville’s parks – fruit trees grown along the trail offering fresh fruit for anyone who wants or needs it.

A group including Drew Howing and Brian Bristow from Iowa Lakes Community College, along with their students, and Estherville Rotary members Anderson, Dale Breuer and John Wittneben planted 25 apple and pear trees recently, with the hope that in a couple of years, they will grow nad bear fruit for those who come to pick it for themselves.

The coalition planted 20 fruit trees in a green space two blocks north of Woody’s Pizza, and five by the root of the trail at South 13th Street and South 7th Ave.

Fruit trees produce food, but also provide shade, keep greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere, improve water quality and may even deter crime, though that is evidenced chiefly in areas where green spaces are scarce.

They may provide habitat for birds and insects and shade for people and animals. Tree roots help thwart erosion, and the trees themselves grow by drawing carbon from the atmosphere, and producing oxygen. Trees’ beneficial effects on air quality, and their potential for helping curb climate change.

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