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Plans Continue For Moscow’s Edible Forest

Editable forest planned for Moscow, ID

Bernardo Wills architect, William LaRue, and project designer Paz Ochoa explain the conceptual design | CREDIT: JASMINE DARAKJY

The plan to build Idaho’s first edible food forest keeps on growing.

Moscow’s Parks and Recreation Department and Bernardo Wills Architects unveiled the park’s preferred alternative plan to city residents last week.

The design shows walking paths surrounded by fruit and nut trees, shrubs, vines, perennials and bulbs. Other features in the four-acre park will include accessible gardening areas, water collections, compost bins and heaps, seating areas, a green house, and an amphitheater.

Several community members gathered to share their input on the conceptual design, including Heather Huston Bell, a leader of the Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute. The PCEI is an environmental nonprofit organization in Moscow dedicated to increasing citizen involvement in restoration efforts.

“The folks designing this are doing an amazing job because during the first session a few weeks ago we sat down and brainstormed what different designs could look like and so they had to pull everyone’s ideas together into a comprehensive design,” she said.

 “I’m excited about communities coming together to share a unique space,” Bell said. “PECI does summer camps with kids, and I would love to take them to this park once it’s a reality.”

Lear about an Editable Forest, MOSCOW ID II

30,000 foot level conceptual plan | CREDIT: JASMINE DARAKJY

According to Moscow’s Parks and Recreation Department website, the park, which will be located between Southview Avenue and Indian Hills Drive, will provide educational opportunities, and create a sense of community pride and stewardship for generations to come.

“The community excitement gets me excited. I envision a place where people can go and pick some fruit from a tree planted 20 or 30 years ago, and then my kids can come down in 20 or 30 years when it will start to be really developed and that’s exciting. I think it will be cool for Moscow,” David Schott, City of Moscow assistant parks and recreation director, said.

The Moscow Tree Commission recommended naming the forest, “Harvest Park,” after receiving 35 nominations. Per city policy, a 60-day public comment period will continue until Feb. 1. The commission will then review and consider comments at its meeting on Feb. 5 before making a final recommendation to the department, as well as Moscow City Council.

Although there is no date determined for the project’s completion, Schott estimates the first phase should be completed within the next two years.

Schott also said the next step of the project is to assess the policies within the management plan, as well as costs.

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