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Boston Tree Party Sets Its Roots02:03
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At Boston's first "tree party," a whole crowd pitched in to plant apple trees around the city. (Amory Sivertson for WBUR)
At Boston's first "tree party," a whole crowd pitched in to plant apple trees around the city. (Amory Sivertson for WBUR)

There's a new non-profit in town known as the Boston Tree Party — a collaborative campaign to plant 100 pairs of heirloom apple trees in public spaces across Greater Boston. Their motto is “Frux Civilis” or “Civic Fruit,” and they are working to promote the “fruits” of civic engagement.

Why apple trees? Massachusetts is home to both the first named variety of apple in the United States — the Roxbury Russet — and the first apple orchard, established on Beacon Hill in early 1600s.

Furthermore, apple trees must be planted in heterogeneous pairs in order to bear fruit. Lisa Gross, the founder and chairman of the Boston Tree Party, uses this as a metaphor for a cross-pollination of Boston’s communities and social spheres.

“Like apple trees, we too are interdependent," Gross said. "We cannot produce fruit alone, we cannot improve our communities, our cities, or our worlds working alone or with others just like ourselves.”

The Boston Tree Party’s inaugural planting took place Sunday at the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Radio Boston’s Amory Sivertson swung by to meet their team and speak with representatives of the community centers, schools, and businesses that have become tree-planting delegations for the organization.

For information on becoming a delegation or volunteer for the Boston Tree Party, visit BostonTreeParty.org.

This segment aired on April 12, 2011.

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