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Beacon Food Forest: Seattle's Inspirational Health Project

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Seattle's health project Beacon Food Forest Zoonar/Thinkstock

Food, community, and nature are some of the key ingredients in the recipe for holistic health. Naturally, I was more than excited to hear about Washington state’s plan to create a seven acre urban food forest that is now in the works.

The best part -- its accessible location in Seattle itself!

Lately, it appears that Americans are growing more and more concerned about what’s in their food, and where it’s coming from. As a result, more and more gardens are popping up throughout communities -- in schools, public lots, and backyards. However, an urban forest of this scale will be the first of its kind.

Located in the Seattle’s working-class neighborhood of Beacon Hill, the food forest will be available to community members of all walks of life.

According to NPR, the Beacon Food Forest plans to have a variety of edible plants throughout the park, including apples, pears, plums, grapes, blueberries and raspberries.

What about the more than frequent visitors and over-enthusiastic food pickers? Other than packing the park full of abundant resources, there hasn’t been a definitive answer to the question that is surely on everyone’s mind.

Right now, the Beacon Food Forest is focusing on their mission.

“To design, plant and grow an edible urban forest garden that inspires our community to gather together, grow our own food and rehabilitate our local ecosystem.”

The Beacon Food Forest website explains that their goals correspond with Seattle’s current Food Action Initiative to reduce climate impact, improve public health, and improve the security of the food supply.

Seattle Parks and Recreation suggests that “The project will increase the skills and knowledge base of the Beacon Hill community related to growing food and managing the integrated systems of the Food Forest.”

So how did this inspirational project begin? It simply started out as a final project in a permaculture design class in 2009.

Community outreach, passion and excitement for the idea helped to evolve a dream into reality.

The Beacon Food Forest will not only provide nourishing whole foods to community members that may not be able to get them otherwise, but also knowledge, experience, and self-efficacy (belief in our ability to succeed) through community involvement.

With a growing number of individuals dissatisfied with our current systems, it’s time we start getting more creative with our health education, and the Beacon Food Forest is a beautiful example of just this!


Beacon Food Forest - About. (n.d.). Beacon Food Forest - About. Retrieved April 20, 2012, from


Seattle Creating Massive Edible Forest Filled with Free Food | Wake Up World. (n.d.). Wake Up World. Retrieved April 20, 2012, from


Seattle Parks and Recreation: Beacon Food Forest - Project Information. (n.d.). Seattle.gov Home Page - The Official Web Site for the City of Seattle, Washington. Retrieved April 20, 2012, from http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects/jefferson/food_forest.htm

Seattle's First Urban Food Forest Will Be Open To Foragers : The Salt : NPR. (n.d.). NPR : National Public Radio : News & Analysis, World, US, Music & Arts : NPR. Retrieved April 20, 2012, from http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/02/29/147668557/seattles-first-urb...

Edited by Jody Smith

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