Community members to plant fruit trees at Lawrence Public Library during ceremony

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During an upcoming ceremony, community members will be planting trees at the Lawrence Public Library that will be free to pick from once they bear fruits.

Fruit Tree Community Choir is a local collaborative artwork between geographer Hazlett Henderson, songleader Lyndsey Scott and orchardist Skyler Adamson, according to an event page on the library’s website. Together with community involvement, they’re preparing to plant an orchard on library grounds and serenade it into life.

“In this event we will reimagine public space’s capacity to nourish our needs for connection and care,” according to the event page.

Members of the Lawrence Fruit Tree Project, which is through the Sunrise Project, have planted many trees since its inception in 2008. Adamson, who’s the Lawrence Fruit Tree Project coordinator, said community members will later be welcome to pick the ripe fruits directly from the trees that’ll be planted on the library’s lawn.

Interpretive signs added to the area will guide folks about “moderation, sharing and appropriate harvesting technique and timing” and include facts about the trees, he added.

“The gist of it is we want as many people to be involved in the creation of the library orchard as possible, so that it can be loved, utilized and protected over time,” Adamson said via email. “We’re engaging people by structuring the orchard planting within a ceremony of many voices harmonizing. If you want to participate, show up on Saturday at noon and either prepare ground for planting or sing in the choir. No prior experience is necessary.”

The ceremony is scheduled for noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 6 on the Lawrence Public Library lawn, 707 Vermont St. It’s free to attend and open to the public. Free refreshments and children’s activities will be offered.

In case of rain, the ceremony will be rescheduled to 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, April 7 at the same location.

Fruit Tree Community Choir is a recipient of a Rocket Grants project award, a program by Kansas City’s Charlotte Street Foundation and the University of Kansas’ Spencer Museum of Art. Funding is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

The Lawrence Fruit Tree Project is part of the city’s and county’s Common Ground initiative, aimed at improving access to fresh, locally grown produce.

Learn more about the ceremony and stay updated on the Fruit Tree Community Choir’s Instagram page, @fruit_tree_community_choir.

Learn more about the Lawrence Fruit Tree Project on its Facebook page, Lawrence Fruit Tree Project, and through the Sunrise Project’s website,

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Maya Hodison (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at mhodison (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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