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Our Mission

     Lawrence Fruit Tree Project provides a community-based solution to the growing need for access to healthy food. We  educate, assist, and inspire the public to grow, steward, and utilize perennial food plants. Our aim is to build community, increase local food security, and create direct, lasting bonds between people and their urban environment.
 Here is what we do. . .

  • Lawrence Community Orchard

Lawrence Community Orchard is a “Free Food Park”, where anyone can pick ripe fruit. Lawrence Community Orchard(LCO) was established in the winter of 2011/2012. The land was made accessible by the City of Lawrence urban agriculture land leasing program, Common Ground. Implementation and maintenance has been possible only through the hard work of many dedicated volunteers.

The purpose of LCO is to;

  • Demonstrate the efficacy of food production in public spaces utilizing perennial plants.
  • Showcase less-maintenance tree crops suitable for northeast Kansas.
  • Be a hands-on learning environment for organic orcharding.
  • Produce free, healthful food for the community.
  • Provide meaningful opportunities for neighborhood involvement.
  • Act as a replicable model for future community orchards in Lawrence.

LCO occupies 1/3 acre in the Burrows Creek corridor of East Lawrence. It is currently planted with 77 individual productive woody plants composed of  23 species. It also includes a fruit tree nursery, a timber frame kiosk, a rustic supply shed and botanical identification signs. It features many aspects of a food forest design with nitrogen fixing species and a layered productive canopy.

  • Community Partner Program

LFTP collaborates with community groups to create community orchards in their neighborhoods. LFTP provides orchard design, event organizing, and training in orchard care. The community partner is responsible for ongoing care of the orchard and distribution of the harvest.

  • LFTP Website

The LFTP website provides useful resources for the aspiring orchardist. You’ll find information ranging from native fruit plants to growing figs in Kansas.

  • Workshops

LFTP Offers workshops such as botany for beginners, pruning, tree variety selection, grafting, and harvesting.

  • Policy

LFTP promotes policies that support urban agriculture and public productive plants.

  • Fruit Tree Propagation

LFTP propagates fruit trees to make rare, locally adapted, best quality trees available for LFTP projects.

3-30-2013 Workday - Assembling the shed
3-30-2013 Workday – Assembling the shed

Supporting local fruit tree endeavors can be very rewarding for you and your community

Fruiting trees not only provide a renewable and annual source of fresh fruit and nuts, they also protect our soil, provide shade, and are very attractive in the landscape.  Urban orchards produce a generous amount of delicious fruit.

Fruit trees provide interesting educational opportunities for everyone.  They reconnect us with nature and our agrarian roots. They also provide us with satisfying community activities that bring folks together.  Enjoying the fruits of our labor is something to look forward to every year!


10 reasons why growing fruit makes our city a better place

  • Fruit trees provide a renewable and annual source of  delicious fresh fruit and nuts.
  • Wholesome foods such as those from fruit trees improve nutrition and health.
  • Growing fruit trees can teach valuable and marketable skills such as planting, tending, composting, and food processing, and provides an excellent learning laboratory for children to learn about biology and food production.
  • Fruit trees are an attractive part of our landscape with their beautiful blooms, foliage and fruit.
  • Coming together to plant, harvest and maintain fruit trees strengthens the social fabric of the community, thus making our neighborhoods cleaner, safer, and more livable.
  • Fruit trees connect folks and their agrarian roots.
  • Fruit trees increase food security by reducing our reliance on imported produce.
  • Fruit trees connect people to place.  Eating locally creates direct, lasting bonds between people and their urban environment.
  • Fruit trees benefit the environment by reducing urban heat, absorbing carbon emissions, filtering water, cleaning the air, absorbing noise, and reducing storm water runoff.
  • It feels really good to walk by a fruit tree and pick a ripe fruit.


New York Elementary - Orchard planting
New York Elementary – Orchard planting

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