Should a tree an orchard grow in Brooklyn on Milwaukee Avenue? That’s the proposal of the Chicago Rarities Orchard Project (C.R.O.P.), supported by a group called The Empirical Opera, to place a rare-fruit orchard on the portion of Milwaukee Avenue south of Logan Square proper that is currently planned for a plaza to accommodate the Logan Square Farmers Market.
I’m not in favor of it for an extension of the concern I stated about what the community and What the real estate experts may not know [Correction: see Open space and Milwaukee Avenue [Part I])]: The open space between Milwaukee and Kedzie Avenues (as desolate as it may be) and the Paseo Prairie Garden at the Logan Square “el” stop, the square itself, and the planned plaza south of the square can potentially kill foot traffic on this retail corridor, the same as parking lots and blank walls can. To replace the space of the plaza planned for the farmers market with an orchard (see image below and compare to the image at Open space and Milwaukee Avenue [Part I] ) would be even more detrimental to maintaining the flow of foot traffic.
Proposed Community Orchard on Milwaukee Ave.
As I understand it, on a few days the orchard’s crop might be available for picking by the community, but not necessarily, which suggests the space that some hope for the orchard would be closed off to
passers-by for most of the, if not all year. Contrast that with an at least weekly active market for five months of the year (see rendering left), that might also be used for other community events that generate activity.
Not that I’m opposed to fruit trees. In fact, I think fruit trees as parkway trees along Milwaukee Avenue would be a good idea. Someone (I don’t remember who) pointed out to me that that might be messy and attract unwanted rodents. It might not if well-managed. Fruit trees in this location might attract, rather than detract from, foot traffic as folks might come out to pick the (literally) low-hanging fruit. Then maybe an organization like C.R.O.P. could harvest the hard to reach fruit in exchange for managing the trees and keeping fruit off the ground.
What do you think?
Spring diversions in Logan Square:
Craft Mafia’s Do It Your Own D*mn Self Show : Saturday, April 17, from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. at 2312 N. Milwaukee Avenue; for your craft supply needs.