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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Nelson

The Litchville Community Orchard

Updated: Jan 24, 2023

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” - Coretta Scott King

Litchville is a small rural town nestled in the southwest corner of Barnes County surrounded by rich farming fields; a town with a Community Center filled with laughter, chatter, and the smell of coffee in the morning; a place where the fire whistle blows at noon and each person serves their community in multiple ways.

In the fall of 2018, an anonymous donor reached out with a desire to do good in their hometown of Litchville by establishing an Endowment Fund that would provide annual distributions to plant trees and, over time, create an orchard as a way to give back to the community.

Having a board that comes from a variety of backgrounds and connections lead to the idea that we could make this orchard come to life before the endowment fund grew large enough to plant a variety of trees. Thanks to the help of former founding board members Bobby Koepplin and Alicia Hoffarth, the Foundation assisted the City of Litchville in applying for a grant through the ND Department of Agriculture.

This grant provided funds to plant 15 fruit trees and take an abandoned lot and develop it into an area for the community. Without the grant, it would have taken many years to accomplish the initial planting and an endowment fund will support the annual maintenance costs of the orchard in perpetuity.

“The Sheyenne Valley Community Foundation took the donors’ idea and fostered community spirit by bringing people together to make this project happen. Having a long-term plan in place that provides financial support makes this project notable.” - Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring

NDSU Extension along with Barnes On the Move will provide educational opportunities to the local elementary schools while utilizing the fruit grown at the orchard. High school students in the area will be making name tags to identify the trees. Sue Milender with NDSU Extension commented,

“One donor’s generosity and the resources of the Community Foundation have unified the community and created a lifetime of educational opportunities and gifts for the community.”

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