Rock Island sells community orchard to woman who planted it

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An orchard planted by Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Cunningham-Walls almost 20 years in the past on city-owned land now formally belongs to her. 

Rock Island metropolis council members on Monday accepted promoting the half-acre nook lot at 715 4th Ave. to Cunningham-Walls for $1. In trade, she’s going to proceed to keep the lot and pay property taxes. 

Cunningham-Walls stated planting the orchard served two functions: she was impressed to beautify the unkempt lot subsequent to Illinois Route 92; and he or she wished to feed the kids and aged residents of the neighborhood — throughout the road from the place her personal mom used to stay.

She requested and obtained permission from the town to plant almost 100 fruit timber that embrace forms of apple, pear, Asian pear, peach and cherry timber. The grassy lot is now full of mature timber bearing fruit that feeds residents within the space who haven’t got quick access to a grocery retailer. 

“The reason I want to buy (the lot) is because (other people) have started coming to the orchard and taking the fruit that I had intended for the children and the older people in that area,” Cunningham-Walls stated. “I simply stated, ‘No, that is not proper.’ I put the orchard down there as a result of a whole lot of these individuals haven’t got transportation. If they will stroll over and choose an apple or a pear and take it residence, that is positive.

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