When the City of Barrie had plans to plant trees on public land as part of its reforestation efforts, FruitShare saw it as an opportunity to feed the hungry. Rather than plant typical native tree species, the City agreed to plant some fruit-bearing trees. A dozen trees now make up Barrie’s first urban fruit forest. Residents will soon be able to enjoy apples, peaches, pears and cherries free of charge. In the unlikely event that fruit goes unpicked, FruitShare will harvest and split it between FruitShare volunteers and the Barrie Food Bank.

Improving urban forest cover has many benefits, including water retention, providing shade, mitigating climate change and providing habitat for animals. Now there’s the added benefit of providing free food for Barrie residents for years to come.

Barrie’s urban fruit forest is the first step in the partnership between the City of Barrie and FruitShare. Next in the plans is the development of an Urban Forest Management Plan for Barrie.

FruitShare is a not-for-profit organization that brings in volunteers to harvest otherwise wasted fruit from residential trees. The fruit is divided between the home owner, the volunteers and the Barrie Food Bank. There are many ways to get involved, such as volunteering to pick, sharing your fruit, or providing donations to FruitShare. Contact FruitShare at 705-715-2255, by email FruitShare.Barrie@gmail.com or online at FruitShareBarrie.ca.

Barrie’s Urban Fruit Forest