History Museum solicits public feedback regarding restoration of Heritage Orchard

By June 7, 2023In The News

Town Crier Report/Los Altos Town Crier

The Los Altos Heritage Orchard is one of three remaining orchards in the area – and the oldest, planted in 1901 by J. Gilbert Smith. Following a series of droughts, the health of the apricot grove has declined.

The Los Altos History Museum seeks public input on restoring the historical landmark in the second in a series of Third Thursday discussions. “Conversations and Reflections: Orchard Restoration” is scheduled 5:30-7 p.m. June 15 at the museum.

Jane Packard, Ph.D., will lead the discussion and share ideas for a biodynamic restoration approach guided by soil-building and pollinator-friendly practices, as well as plans for the installation of a water-wise irrigation drip system spurred by a mini-grant from Valley Water. She will also share lessons learned abroad.

“Participatory approaches to communal problem-solving have been useful in international development since the 1970s,” Packard said. “Creating a safe space for all participants to share their thoughts helps everyone better understand the bigger picture.”

On behalf of the museum’s Orchard Commons Committee, Packard participated in a Los Altos City Council study session on the orchard. In collaboration with Manny Hernandez, director of parks and recreation, the presentation outlined the past, present and future care of the orchard.

“Now it is time to hear from our diverse community,”..cont.

Los Altos Heritage Orchard in bloom