How One Nonprofit Is Transforming L.A. Parks into Edible Hangouts

These edible parks are living works of art

Covering even half of Chinatown’s 32-acre Los Angeles State Historic Park would be enough to stimulate anyone’s appetite. Thankfully the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Fallen Fruit has your back.

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Park goers can pluck plump, juicy oranges from Monument to Sharing, the latest in the volunteer organization’s series of public fruit groves-cum-art installations. Arranged in eight neat rows, 32 orange-tree planters bear quotes from L.A. locals about the perks of divvying things up. (You know what they say: Sharing is caring.)

Cofounders David Burns and Austin Young have been at the edible park game since 2004, when they mapped all the publicly accessible fruit trees in their Silver Lake neighborhood (52 in five blocks).

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In the years since, they’ve galvanized volunteers to plant fruit trees in shared spaces. “We really believe that fresh fruit is a human right that can be available to everyone outside their door,” says Young. Their installations have cropped up in several corners of the city: At Culver City’s Stoneview Nature Center, a rainbow-colored orchard contains oranges, avocados, figs, and other fruit significant to California history; in Westlake, a fruity trail connects Lafayette Park and MacArthur Park.

Start keeping your eyes—then your oranges—peeled.

RELATED: A Guide to L.A. Tiniest Pocket Parks

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