As part of FOX 25/48's Driftless Earth Day celebration, we're recognizing local efforts to make our driftless region a more sustainable place. Tonight FOX 25/48's Erin O'Brien takes a look at a forest set to be grown right in the heart of La Crosse.
Don't let the snow fool you. Pretty soon, a forest will grow right outside of the La Crosse YMCA. Community members broke ground today for the YMCA's first ever food forest.
“The food forest fits very well with one of our focus areas of social responsibility.”
The 8,000 square foot forest will perform double duty-- not only providing healthy food to the community, but also rehabilitating our local ecosystem. It was designed by Coulee Region Ecoscapes using a concept called permaculture.
“It's basically an approach to sustainable living, and the basic tenant is we look at things holistically. We look at things in terms of a system with multiple elements in that system.”
Once the food and plants have grown, community members will be welcome to come pick some for themselves and learn how to prepare the food.
The owners of Coulee Region Ecoscapes say that food forests like this are popping up across the country, and this is one of the first in the Coulee Region.
The YMCA is also encouraging people to grow their own forest at home. It can be everything from a container garden to acres of land. And so there will be workshops and educational opportunities for people to learn how to replicate pieces of the food forest in their own neighborhoods. They say everyone can pitch in to help the environment and grow their own healthy food. In La Crosse, Erin O'Brien, FOX 25/48 news at nine.