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Tribal College Wins Fruit Orchard and Dedicates Garden

A Native American college will formally dedicate its community garden next week.
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The Dragonfly Garden at United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) will add fruit to the list of things grown on the tribal college campus in Bismarck, North Dakota.

In May the school asked the community for help in a national online competition to win 54 fruit trees and shrubs from Dreyer’s/Edy’s Fruit Bars and the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation.

“Soon we’ll be planting trees together in the garden,” said Pat Aune, Dragonfly Garden co-coordinator. “I expect to harvest fruit in two or three years.”

On September 13, UTTC will formally recognize the establishment of the five-acre plot as a community demonstration and research garden.

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“Dragonfly Garden is open to the community,” said Tom Kalb, North Dakota State University Regional Extension horticulturist and garden co-coordinator. “Anyone can tour the plantings and use the information they gain to care for their own gardens and landscapes.”

There will be a Lakota ground blessing at the upcoming event and the college will thank the company and charity for the trees.

The Dragonfly Garden, started in the fall of 2010 to “get families, kids and students involved in the different aspects of gardening,” Chris McLaughlin, Land Grant staffer, told KFYR-TV in May. The goal of the Land Grant, according to its strategic plan, is to “deliver relevant, research-based nutrition, food safety and gardening education that has a positive impact on the health and well-being of all citizens.”

Part of the Land Grant program’s strategic plan was the Dragonfly Garden, which has the largest variety of roses in one location in North Dakota—140 types to be exact.