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Syracuse Urban Food Forest Project

The Syracuse Urban Food Forest Project (SUFFP) began in 2019 as a Syracuse University-SUNY Environmental Science & Forestry (ESF) collaboration. The project connects SU, ESF, and the Syracuse community in working towards establishing an Urban Food Forest in Syracuse. The SUFFP seeks to plant edible greenery in the city's parks and public spaces. Beyond planting edibles, the SUFFP has done work researching foraging habits in the community, offering educational events, evaluating stormwater retention potential of new growth,  and assessing the nutritional impact over time of forageable species for humans and other fauna. Today, the SUFFP team encompasses SU and ESF faculty, undergraduate, graduate students, community members, and local partners. 

Past planting events have taken place at:

  • Oxford vacant lots
  • Rich & Hudson vacant lots
  • Kwanzaa Garden Food Forest lots
  • Craddock St. Vacant Lots
  • Elmwood Park
  • Springdale Park
  • Corcoran High School
  • Brady Farm Food Forest

Associated Faculty

ANNE C BELLOWS, Ph.D. Professor, Food Studies, Syracuse University. Geographer, also trained in urban and regional planning. Right to food and food systems activist. Teaching/research on food sovereignty, justice, policy, planning. Focus-a) participatory land and natural resources access, tenure, policy, and management; b) dietary diversity in expanded local food systems that include foraging.

KATHERINE KORBA, MLA. Urban Forestry Professor, SUNY-ESF. Natural Areas & Forestry Specialist, Kanopy Works LLC, 10 yrs edible landscape design/build, i-Tree analyst, 5 yrs Natural Resource Manager, Cornell Cooperative Extension, addressing water quality; Save the Rain Urban Forestry; coordinating county-wide municipal tree purchase, partnerships for community-based volunteer tree plantings.

STEW DIEMONT, Ph.D. Faculty member in the Department of Environmental Biology at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Research and teaching focus on environmental field analysis, modeling, and ecosystem design. 20 years’ experience working with Indigenous Maya forestry, agriculture, and with communities in Mesoamerica. 10 years in environmental evaluation and cultural system documentation in North America and Europe, emphasizing food systems in urban areas.

MATT POTTEIGER, MLA. Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at SUNY ESF. Teaching, research, and community engagement focus on how the food we eat shapes the ecology, public spaces, and social life of our landscapes. Has studied the intersection of food and landscape systems in Europe, Japan, Brazil, and North American cities, and led community-based projects aimed at creating a more sustainable and socially just regional food system in Syracuse and Central New York. FoodPlan CNY, co-authored with Evan Weissman, established the first comprehensive regional food system plan for Central New York.