The City of Suwanee and Harvest Farm have collaborated to develop the first public orchard and playground in the Southeast. Featuring a fully functional orchard that will be open to the community, the Orchard at White Street Park was designed to provide families with a fun and engaging space that changes through the seasons, encourages creative and self-guided outdoor play, and grows fresh fruit.
In addition to trees yielding fruit, the Orchard at White Street Park also includes lawn areas for relaxation and play, a pavilion, winding pathways, and natural children’s play features throughout the one-acre site.
“The orchard was designed to incorporate fruiting plants, winding paths, lawns, and natural play features. It will be a unique and exceptional space for discovery and exploration and offer hands-on learning opportunities with a wide variety of fruiting plants,” said Harvest Farm board member and orchard landscape architect Roger Grant. “The park will be open to the public and people of all ages are encouraged to observe and enjoy the fruits of our labor. It will be maintained using organic pest control methods, meaning the fruit may not all look like what we see at the grocery store, but patrons will get an authentic and safe experience.”
The orchard will serve as the perfect complement to Harvest Farm, Suwanee’s award-winning community garden, which is also located at White Street Park. Opened in 2010, Harvest Farm was the first community garden in Gwinnett County and remains one of the largest organic community gardens in the southeastern United States.
While the space itself is already open to the public, the orchard will continue to be planted over the next few months, largely by community volunteers. The first community planting is scheduled for Saturday, May 20, from 9 am-3 pm. Visit Suwanee.com for more information about the Orchard at White Street Park, volunteering, or making a donation.
“We’re excited to keep building on the success and momentum of the garden by expanding into White Street Park with this orchard,” said Grant. “While the City has provided a solid foundation, the ultimate success of the orchard lies with our citizens – we need the community’s support in our effort to raise money to purchase orchard plantings.”
“With your help, we will make a lasting impact in the lives of our neighbors and families by creating a special and unique space for all of Suwanee.”