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Help Nurture Rochester’s Fruit Belt

August 26th, 2015

The Fruit Belt Project
By Mike Governale

Orange Street, Lime Street, Grape Street, Orchard Street…

This external link is Rochester’s fruit belt, and the inspiration behind a new collaboration between Greentopia and Shawn Dunwoody. The Fruit Belt Mural Project external link aims to transform one of Rochester’s most challenged neighborhoods (JOSANA, in the northwest quadrant) through art…

The Fruit Belt Project
The area known today as JOSANA was once part of Dutchtown – originally “Deutschtown” for its concentration of German immigrants. Those immigrants planted numerous fruit trees, resulting in the nickname, Fruit and Nut Neighborhood. Hence the street names in the area… Orchard, Lime, Walnut, Grape, Orange, Maple, etc.

The Fruit Belt Project
Fast forward a century and half later, these street names have become the bases for a rejuvenating neighborhood effort. Store fronts, residences, businesses, and abandoned properties will be painted with uplifting words, messages, and graphics in a cheery color palette – “symbolically banding together urban design and community spirit into a unified neighborhood experience and new identity: The Fruit Belt.”

The Fruit Belt Project
But this is more than an art project. Fruit Belt is bringing neighbors together behind a common purpose, and putting Rochester youth to work.

The Fruit Belt Project
This past May, Dunwoody organized the city’s largest community paint initiative called “The Big Paint Out” to kick off the mural project during National Painting Week.

Over 250 people participated by painting buildings at Jay & Grape Street external link.

The Fruit Belt Project
As part of the project, a fruit-based garden is also being planted at a vacant lot nearby.

Organizers believe the Fruit Belt Project has already had a powerfully positive impact in bringing together the neighbors (young and young at heart) and sowing the seeds of change.

The Fruit Belt Project
From the looks of things, on the surface anyway, these streets are certainly starting to look pretty sweet.

• • •

Support the Fruit Belt Project

The Fruit Belt Project
A fundraising campaign external link is now underway at Indiegogo to help raise money to complete the project. Organizers would like to involve more youth from the neighborhood and they need to cover the cost of their labor, paint, construction lifts and tools. Building supplies for the fruit gardens are also needed.

Visit the Indiegogo campaign page here external link and please consider making a contribution to this very positive neighborhood project. Every dollar will help, but there are cool perks available to you for contributions over $10.

• • •

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 at 9:54 pm and is filed under Art + Culture, Rochester News, Urban Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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