Friday, February 23, 2007 Filed in: In the News
by Kenny Luna
Actually, I think it’s quite a bright idea considering the fact that this years Fruit Tree Tour will feature the world's largest veggie-oil powered caravan, covered in forest-scape murals and carrying 1000 fruit trees and 27 volunteers along its annual 20-city, 70-day tour to inner city schools from San Diego to Sacramento. It’s certainly a one-of-a-kind idea featuring a day-long interactive outdoor program that includes West African agricultural drumming and eco-conscious hip-hop to help reach kids with the concept of sustainability.
Ultimately, Common Vision's Fruit Tree Tour aims to educate inner city students about how easy it can be to turn barren school yards into abundant orchards; and in the process create living, outdoor classrooms with the potential to produce enough fresh fruit for their school's cafeteria and possibly even members of the community.
The tour, which one South Central resident appropriately called a "bus full of hope" is now in it's 4th year of visiting first-time schools to plant new fruit trees while reconnecting with previous participant schools to start advanced programs like Roots to Fruits, a program to help school nurseries feed communities, and Harvest Hip-Hop which combines sustainability with a rap contest to reach kids.
So far they’ve planted thousands of urban trees and taught of tens of thousands of inner-city kids in California about sustainable ecology, while starting this year all trees planted by students at Los Angeles public schools during Fruit Tree Tour will count toward the city's ambitious new Million Trees LA initiative.
As Michael Flynn, the director of education for Common Vision puts it, the program “inspires all of us to realize our responsibility to selflessly look ahead at least seven generations when making decisions and taking actions to improve our local environment.” And with the unprecedented environmental challenges that face the current generation based on our past mistakes, it stands to reason that this program will bear fruit in many ways as it works to reshape the minds of inner city children across California, enabling them to truly consider the long-term implications of their actions today.