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Providing food for future generations

New Leaf recently collaborated with the city of De Pere to install two Community Orchards at Braisher Park and Voyageur Park, replacing the fruit trees in the Voyager Orchard that were lost due to construction. Submitted photo

By Olivia Coffin

Contributing Writer

DE PERE – New Leaf Food Programs is working to support the health and well-being of the people of Greater Green Bay by promoting healthy food access, education and building a thriving local food system in a clean environment.

New Leaf is a non-profit organization that is run solely by volunteers.

The program has completed many projects such as Community Orchards, Bountiful Branches and Garden Blitz.

New Leaf planted five orchards this past spring and over one thousand gardens in the last 10 years.

They recently collaborated with the city of De Pere to install two Community Orchards at Braisher Park and Voyageur Park, replacing the fruit trees in the Voyager Orchard that were lost due to construction.

They also expanded the Braisher Park Orchard at 630 N Winnebago Street.

The group said that the installations will help “guarantee that current residents and future generations will have access to fresh, local produce at no cost.”

New Leaf is also teaming up with Leadership Green Bay Cohort Team 5 to manage the development of five orchards at Chappell Elementary, Red Smith K-8 School, Edison Middle School, Southwest High School and Lombardi Middle School.

This year, orchards have already been installed at Jackson Elementary, Green Bay East High School and New Leaf Prep Academy, which include apple trees, pear trees, cherry trees, plum trees and pollinator species.

“We started a seed library last year. So that’s a place where anybody can go and get free seeds and grow food. And then the plan is for them to learn how to save their seeds and then return them at the end of the season so that we’re all saving our own seeds. Because that’s another issue that we have is that the seed companies are becoming monopolized,” said Kim Diaz, a longtime volunteer with the program.

“So when people start growing their own food and start saving their seeds, they’re creating a more diverse and rich variety for people. So, seeds are a really important part of our food system, along with the soil.”

By doing these projects and working to create a healthier and more sustainable way to get food, New Leaf is completing its goals of improving access to healthy food, promoting health and well-being through healthy food education, building a thriving sustainable local food system and supporting a clean environment.

Since New Leaf is a non-profit volunteer-based program, they are always in need of volunteers.

“Volunteers are the heart and soul and a major resource and future of New Leaf Foods. And we will take anyone who wants to volunteer and bring their skills and talents, and we’ll find something they feel committed to and can involve themselves in with their whole hearts,” added New Leaf Board of Directors President Lynn Walter.

For more information, visit newleaffoods.org/mission.

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