The Boston Tree Party is a cheeky, playful response to the Tea Party, but also a creative, worthwhile effort at promoting urban agriculture, sustainability, healthy eating, and a re-imagining of American civic expression. Since last spring, beginning with the planting of a pair of heirloom apple trees on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, the Boston Tree Party has brought together hundreds of people - from Harvard and Tufts to Roxbury Community College, Carney Hospital, and the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center - to plant and care for 70 pairs of apple trees. They are expected to produce up to 15,000 free apples a year within four years.
It’s all the brainchild of public artist Lisa Gross, who notes that the apple “has a long and deep connection to the history of Boston,’’ including vast orchards in Roxbury and Dorchester in the 19th century and, on Beacon Hill, America’s first orchard during colonial times. This spring, there will be more trees planted. And in partnership with Boston’s computer programmers and the MIT Media Lab, a mobile phone app and map and directory will be created showing all of Boston’s civic fruit.