By Shane Fitzsimmons/Kris Leonhardt
Press Times staff
GREEN BAY – The Seymour Park Food Forest project, located in Green Bay’s Frank B. Seymour Park, is working to address food insecurity.
The Premonstratensians (Norbertines) recently awarded an Augustine Stewardship Fund Trust grant to New Leaf Foods, Inc. for the funding of Seymour Park Food Forest Implementation.
“New Leaf Foods is a nonprofit that’s focused on expanding healthy food, outreach for the Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin region, and we helped write the grant to St. Norbert Abbey in order to get this up and running because we are also the fiscal agent for this project. So, we wrote the grant and we will still help take care of the money so that what needs to be done here gets done,” said New Leaf Foods Communications and Outreach Coordinator Lutia Colbert.
A food forest, or forest garden, is a diverse planting of edible plants.
“The Seymour Park Food Forest project aims to revolutionize food accessibility and sustainability by cultivating healthy, locally sourced produce right in the heart of a public park. By utilizing sustainable practices, this initiative not only reduces long-term costs but also alleviates the maintenance burden on the Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department,” a New Leaf release stated.
All of the work is completed by volunteers.
“The hope is to get the neighbors more involved. Once the neighbors get involved and realize that there’s real food around, and hopefully you can start building community,” said Joshua Kufahf, who is spearheading volunteer work.
“We just need bodies, you know, we need these volunteer days; we need the largest group of people that we can get a hold of to lead, to maintain the space for it to look aesthetically pleasing enough. But also, we can grow food. If we have a list of 50 people we can contact, do monthly or every couple weeks whatever, weeding picking this only gets bigger and better.
“Long-term goal, if we are successful in zone No. 1, zone No. 2, it stays maintained, and we can continue to grow our base. We will be able to implement zones 3, 4 and 5 in the coming years — totaling in about two acres of food forest. So, pretty much expanding from all of the way on the east side to the far west side of the park.”
Kufahf has been working in the neighborhood garden for 14 years.
“I came down and started working at the neighbor garden and then just eight years ago, I took that over and then this expansion happened this year,” he explained.
“It’s more about people than it is about the money. We need to make sure we have a volunteer base; that’s key to anything. The sky is the limit if we can get people to show up.”
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/SeymourPNG.