Bloomington Community Orchard
As one of the only projects of its kind in the nation (and world), the Bloomington Community Orchard (BCO) is on the forefront of sustainable living and community building. With a mission to dream, build, and share an orchard community, the BCO strives to inspire communities to cultivate thriving systems of sharing and growing fruit.
The BCO was born from simple but powerful ideas: access to healthy food is a right, not a privilege; local produce is essential to ensuring a sustainable future; and community can be built and strengthened through collaboration. In a country where most people remain disconnected from their food sources, the BCO contributes to local food systems that support long-term environmental sustainability. Through outreach, we equip our beneficiaries with the knowledge and desire to apply these practices in their backyards and daily lives.
Incredible volunteers have carried the Orchard from our first community meeting in February 2010 through several national grants that provided the funding for two community-wide planting days. These investments continue to be maintained by our volunteer Board of Directors, by teams and committees of volunteers organized around specific tasks, and by the countless volunteers who visit the site and engage in the delightfully dirty work of maintaining our sustainable, edible commons. The hard work of volunteers has allowed the BCO to take root in Bloomington as a resource nurtured by the community, for the community. But our efforts go much farther. Each year we help individuals and organizations around the world, looking to grow their own collaborative commons around our sustainable model.
The BCO’s one-acre site represents the time, energy, passion and generosity of our volunteers and supporters, while also representing an investment in the future. By planting fruit for community members we may never meet, the BCO hopes to create a legacy for the benefit and enjoyment of many generations to come.