The words "Arizona" and "Forests" don't belong in the same sentence unless you add "doesn't have any" in between the two.

The Petrified Forest
Credit: Canva

While that's not entirely true, people don't come to the Grand Canyon state to see miles of lush, green plant life. The lack of tree cover is actually a massive part as to why the state gets so hot.

One Tucson local dares to ask "why don't we take matters into our own hands?"

What is a Food Forest?

Food forests are a relatively simple concept. Several trees are planted, most of which are fruit or pod bearing, creating natural shade, as well as providing readily accessible food to help those who may not have the resources to afford a meal.

Picking strawberries
Credit: Canva

This is just a small part of a trend across the United States, where cities will plant trees and foliage that produce berries, fruits, and other foods. Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, and more have already gotten a leg up and started their own urban forests.

KWCD Country logo
Get our free mobile app

Tucson's Food Forest

Tucson is the latest city to pick up on this idea, and for good reason. Heat related illnesses have been surging across Arizona for the past few years, and more shade seems to be one of the best responses.

Man sitting under tree shade
Credit: Canva

The Tucson forest is spearheaded by Brandon Merchant, who wants to fill the city with over a million trees by 2030. The forest is populated by Velvet mesquite trees, which not only provide adequate cover, but also produce seed pods that can be used to make protein-rich flour.

Pods on Velvet Mesquite Trees
Credit: Canva

While only a dozen saplings have been planted, Merchant knows this project is worth the work, and he plans on following through on his word to make Tucson greater.


Best Festivals in Tucson

Tucson is one of Arizona's biggest cultural hubs, and their annual festivals and events add to that charm.

10 Unexpected Dangers in Arizona

Having recently moved to the Grand Canyon state, I expected to be surprised by somethings, but here are the top-10 dangers of living in the state I never saw coming.

Best Day Trips to Take in Arizona

Arizona is cock-full of natural wonders and quaint cities that are worth a couple hours of driving to experience. Here's the top 10.

Gallery Credit: Christopher Cappiali/Canva

More From KWCD Country