Fruit trees planted at senior community in McCandless

Thursday, May 16, 2019 - Updated: 11:05 am

Volunteers helped plant a mini “food forest” of fruit trees May 2 at Vincentian Home, a senior community in McCandless Township. The maturing trees are expected to begin bearing fruit within five years.

“Fruit trees are magic. They feed us, provide clean air to breathe and bring us together. We are thrilled to work with so many forward-thinking organizations in western Pennsylvania to create greener and healthier communities,” said Cem Akin, Fruit Tree Planting Foundation TreeEO.

A number of local nonprofit organizations took part in the project, including Vincentian Academy, Vincentian Home, the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, One Tree Per Child Pittsburgh and Age-Friendly Greater Pittsburgh.

The trees and planting workshop focused on apples, pears and peaches suitable for Pittsburgh’s agricultural zone.

A total of 12 trees were planted at Vincentian Home to provide educational, therapeutic and nutritional opportunities for residents and guests.

“This is an excellent example of grassroots organizations coming together to make positive change in our community,” said Nick Vizzoca, Vincentian president and CEO. “Vincentian values collaboration and partnership, and we are grateful to all who have had a hand in bringing this project to fruition. We look forward to our residents enjoying these fruit trees for many years to come.”

Dr. Isabela-Cajiao Angelelli, a physician at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and founder of One Tree Per Child Pittsburgh, had an idea for intergenerational tree plantings.

“We are honored to be able to participate in this intergenerational tree planting, and to connect and help build community together,” Angelelli said. “This is an inspiring way to start a conversation about environmental responsibility and a call to action to everyone. Trees bring health to a community, food, improved air quality and an abundance of wildlife. Connecting with nature is powerful and healing.”

“We are proud to collaborate with community members of all ages on this project,” said Cassandra Masters, coordinator, Age-Friendly Greater Pittsburgh. “One of our initiatives, Gardening for Good, encourages people of all ages to understand the connection between body, environment and health. Intergenerational gardening and other environmental initiatives make our communities stronger for years to come.”

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