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This was submitted as an idea to the Politifest 2012 Idea Tournament. VOSD members will vote on the best ideas and on Sept. 19 we’ll announce six contenders (Not a member? Join now to vote). At Politifest on Sept. 29, each of the six finalists will have five minutes to pitch their idea to a panel. The panel rates the ideas and two finalists advance. The crowd at Politifest will vote on a winner. The winner will receive an “idea-inspired” trophy custom-designed by former City Councilwoman Donna Frye. VOSD CEO Scott Lewis will also write about the winner’s idea.

To create a string of urban forest gardens in San Diego. These forests will include areas for conventional community gardening. These will actively and passively collect rain, storing water in the biomass/soil, thus reducing runoff.

A forest is a self-sustaining ecosystem that recycles all its waste and creates all its own food sources (primarily via photosynthesis). Forests are habitat for a wide range of animals, insects, birds, fungi, microorganisms, etc. A food forest (a.k.a. forest garden) is a permaculture orchard that mimics natural systems and has food growing in up to seven levels.

Benefits of urban trees include cooling their vicinity, reducing air pollution, CO2 reduction, providing fire buffers, improving soil quality, sustaining feelings of relaxation/well-being, and increased property values.

San Diego is an ideal place for this project as it is blessed with a remarkable climate, low but harvest-able rainfall, food deserts left and right, huge amounts of recyclable biomass, and a diverse, eager populace.

These sites will include space for conventional community gardening, will re-use local graywater and will compost all organic material generated on-site. The goal is that no “waste” water or organic “waste” need ever leave the site.

This project will empower neighbors to share in the harvest and care of urban fruit trees, prevent waste, reduce stormwater runoff, remedy social tree deficits, build community knowledge and resources, and create sustainable ways to obtain healthy, locally-grown food.

Richard Winkler submitted this idea to the Politifest 2012 Idea Tournament. Join us on Sept. 29!

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