Encinitas council OKs ‘fruit forest’ dedicated to former mayor Barth


A grove of trees that will provide free fruit for the community will soon take root at Glen Park in Cardiff.

The Encinitas City Council on Sept. 23 unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding to get the “fruit forest” off the ground, as well as naming it after former Mayor and Councilwoman Teresa Barth, who served on the council for eight years.

In a related agenda item, the council also signed off on organically maintaining Glen Park as a one-year pilot project.

The fruit forest will have 10 to 15 trees and be planted on the north side of the 4.5-acre park, just east of the Scout House building. Last December, Barth’s friends announced the project at her final council meeting, saying it’s a tribute to her love of agriculture and the environment.

“I strongly support this — it’s a win-win,” Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer said, adding that the idea and money for the project came from Cardiff and broader Encinitas.

Under the memorandum of understanding, the city will prep the grove by installing mainline irrigation and spreading mulch, costs that will be offset by an $8,500 turf removal grant. Two nonprofits, Cardiff 101 MainStreet and Healthy Day Partners, are responsible for buying and planting the fruit trees, putting in drip irrigation, and doing outreach and grove maintenance.

Deputy Mayor Catherine Blakespear said the grove will enrich the park and that it reflects the community’s desire for more agriculture.

To kick off the fruit grove, a planting celebration is slated for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 3.

Back in June, the council approved testing a pesticide-free park for one year at the request of residents who have health and environmental concerns. City staff recommended testing the idea at Glen Park, and if it was successful, the concept could move to more or even all city parks.

The maintenance budget is $34,920 a year at Glen Park, and maintaining it organically is expected to increase costs by $2,000 to $9,000. That’s because a non-chemical approach demands spraying more often.