Fifteen community members, URI Master Gardeners and Outreach Center staff got to work in early October. Each Friday night we met at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center and learned permaculture. By mid-November we were designing the forest garden. After selecting our desired-species then thinning the list based on our assessment of site conditions, we had our design finished at the end of February.
On March 1st we presented our plan to a packed room in the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center. Members from the Providence Parks Department, URI Master Gardeners, URI Outreach Center and community gardeners were in attendance. The presentation was hugely successful. Not only was the Providence Parks Department impressed, they offered help.
Our design will use more than 30 native and regionally-adapted species creating over 5000 square-feet of productive forested habitat. The forest garden in Roger Williams Park will transform underutilized urban land into a highly productive parcel producing market-viable fruits, nuts, vegetables, medicine and fiber. We are proud to have five B3F3 Restoration 1.0 American Chestnuts in our canopy cover. The forest garden is divided into four phases. Phase One will be installed on April 21 2012, and will include part of our canopy, shrubs, vine and ground cover. Phases Two and Three will be installed in autumn 2012, and Phase Four in early 2013.
Now that our design is complete, we are in the fund raising and resource gathering phase. Our hope is to gather enough money and resources to install three of the four phases this year. Check out our designs below.