Fruit Tree Tour Rolls through California

Article excerpt

Inner-city students throughout California are learning about sustainable ecology and turning their barren schoolyards into abundant orchards of apples, pears, cherries, plums and more, through the Common Vision (www.commonvision.org) fourth annual Fruit Tree Tour, a 20-city, 70-day tour of urban schools from San Diego to Sacramento.

On February 14, covered in forest murals and carrying 1,000 fruit tree plants and 27 volunteers, the world's largest veggie-oil caravan made its first stop at Emerson Elementary School in Riverside, Calif., just one of the more than thirty schools it plans to visit.

Dedicated to developing working relationships with teachers and administrators to integrate sustainability into schools' curricula and landscapes, Common Vision volunteers teach elementary, middle and high school students through daylong programs that include everything from tree planting exercises and ecology learning workshops to West African agricultural drumming and "eco hip-hop" sessions. Their efforts will create living classrooms with the potential to produce enough fruit for the school cafeterias and the surrounding community.

The caravan of volunteer artists, educators and tree planters travels the length of California each year to support local teachers and grassroots groups in their day-to-day work to leave behind a better world, says Michael Flynn, director of education for Common Vision. …