Syracuse Urban Food Forest Project (SUFFP)

Anne C. Bellows (NFS – FST) PI and Sudha Raj (NFS – NSD) co-I, Syracuse Urban Food Forest Project (SUFFP), SUNY ESF / USDA, sub-award. 1/1/22-12/31/23

The Syracuse Urban Food Forest Project (SUFFP) began in 2019 as a Syracuse University-SUNY Environmental Science & Forestry (ESF) collaboration, weaving together ecological sciences, landscape design, and urban food policy into an innovative approach to assess potential urban food forest potential as connective ecological-social infrastructure. In 2022, we received a two-year grant from USDA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for a community edible, forest-planting, and impact-modeling project entitled “Green Infrastructure: Infiltrating Water and Invigorating Neighborhoods.”
Along with evaluating stormwater retention potential of new growth, we are assessing the nutritional impact over time of forageable species for humans and other fauna. Wild forageable foods contain a wealth of nutrients and food bioactives such as antioxidant phytochemicals that can promote optimal health and wellness and contribute to nutrient density and dietary diversity. Collaborations with the City of Syracuse and local community groups and entrepreneurs help to identify preferred locations and species along a 7-mile corridor on the City’s south side.