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Contact: Cindy Micheli, 435.425.3791
Wayne Middle School students complete service project at Capitol Reef National Park's Historic Fruita Orchards
Students from Wayne Middle School participated in a four-hour service project clearing the Historic Fruita Orchards of pruning debris last week.
Theresa Taft, school counselor, coordinated the service project, which involved 120 students and several adults. Capitol Reef’s Orchard Manager Wayne Hanks provided a pruning demonstration and directed students in clearing branches pruned from three peach, apple, and mixed-fruit orchards. “Those students were hard workers and accomplished a lot,” Hanks said. “They removed six trailer and stake-bed loads of pruning debris for us, and seemed to be having fun while doing it.” During the district’s historic heyday, up to ten families maintained the orchards. Today, the park employs one full-time orchard manager, and hires assistants when funding is available. This student service project was both timely and greatly appreciated.
Student Jacee Brian said, “It was a lovely day. It felt good to do service in our beautiful park and it gave me a warm feeling.” Wayne Middle School Principal Mary Bray commented that this project helped students to develop a sense of ownership of their park, and hopes that this service project can become an annual event. The historic orchards of Capitol Reef, with 2,600 fruit trees, are the largest in the National Park System and were established around the turn of the century by the pioneer residents of Fruita.
Be safe and enjoy the experience. For more information on the orchards, the public can call the Capitol Reef Orchard Hotline at (435) 425-3791. To reach the hotline once the park number connects, press one and at the voice prompt press eight.