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Landscape Architecture and Bioregional Planning Professors Help Bring Edible Forest Park to Moscow

February 11, 2019

Two faculty members in the College of Art and Architecture are playing a crucial role in bringing the state of Idaho's first edible forest park — complete with fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, herbs and other edible plants available to the public for harvest — to the city of Moscow.

Dan Cronan, assistant professor of landscape architecture and David Griffith, a research assistant professor in bioregional planning and community design, serve on the City of Moscow's Tree Commission — a program that, according to their website, strives to encourage the preservation, expansion, protection and proper maintenance of the city's forests and land. In 2016, the Tree Commission began exploring the idea of establishing a food forest in Moscow to increase access to fresh food and citizen appreciation of the urban forest. When the tree commission brought the idea to the City of Moscow's Parks and Recreation Department in fall 2018, Cronan and Griffith became primary contributors.

The two professors are now part of the Harvest Park's core development team, providing design ideas and guidance on design principles to the Spokane-based architectural firm Bernardo Wills, who won the contract to design and plan the park.

In addition to offering edible and native plants to community members for harvest, the park, located on a four-acre site on the south end of Moscow, along Southview Avenue across from the Grove apartment complex, will likely feature an ADA-accessible trail system and offer educational programs related to the sustainable management and maintenance of certain plant species. Workshops on pruning, canning and permaculture techniques, along with activities like apple pressing, may also be available. The overall intent of the park, according to the city's website, is to create a sense of place, community pride and an example of stewardship.

Later this month, Cronan and Griffith will be involved in the final workshop related to the park's initial conceptual design and development, which is open to the public.

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more at uidaho.edu