Environmental Studies

How Food-Producing Trees Can Combat Food Insecurity in Urban Areas 

Victoria Bearden ’22, Environmental Studies

The Research:

The goal of our research is to identify trees with edible components in cities and determining if they are accessible in areas that are classified as food insecure. We used the mapping software known as ArcGIS to look at two cities—New York City and Baltimore—to identify and rank tree species that grow edible, nutritious food. We wanted to see how many of these species are found in areas that are classified as food insecure to determine if these communities have accessible, nutritious food available to them through resources that are already around them.

The Impact:
The research that I have done with this project has allowed me to connect what I am learning through my education at Ursinus to the real world. I feel like as my research progresses in this topic, I am making discoveries that could have a lasting impact on communities. My biggest takeaway from completing this project was the range of communities that struggle with having access to something that we all need—food. It makes me passionate and want to continue this work to hopefully make an impact and help people gain access to the necessities to live healthfully.