Howard Coffin Park just got a lot tastier — or at least in about three years it will.
The final citrus tree was planted Wednesday as part of a community orchard that is now growing there at the Harold E. Jennings Wellness Park fitness trail near U.S. Highway 17 and Gloucester Street in Brunswick. In all, there are eight trees that will eventually produce oranges and grapefruit that are accessible and edible by the public.
Keep Golden Isles Beautiful, The Golden Isles Fund for Trees, Coastal Greenery and the city of Brunswick used an Edible Orchard grant from Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation to buy the trees and we are happy they did.
Projects like this are unique and involve the community by their very nature. These trees are there for anyone who wants some fresh fruit, or in some cases, needs it.
They are expected to begin bearing fruit in the next two to three years. We are willing to wait because this project has a lot to offer.
It is another illustration of how Keep Golden Isles Beautiful works with its state and national organizations to keep our community clean and attractive. Whether it is through marsh cleanups, electronic recycling events, community art projects or the new orchard, KGIB continually spearheads projects with the city, county and other entities to complete its mission.
The orchard is a special next step to take and one that deserves to be expanded. There are numerous parks and squares throughout Brunswick and Glynn County where fruit-bearing citrus trees could thrive. In addition to providing free and accessible oranges for the public, citrus trees are also nice looking. A grove in all major parks in the community would add a unique touch that would make it an even more unique and special place than it already is.
Imagine a system of parks that features tiny orchards or groves at each. The fruit would be available to all and so would a learning opportunity. Signs explaining why the trees are there, what kind they are and how and why they grow here could make the orchards more robust and interactive for visitors.
We applaud the efforts of all involved and hope to start seeing more edible orchards sweetening our parks soon.