Edy's Fruit Bars is once again holding its annual "Communities Take Root" program. Twenty communities across the country will win an orchard of fruit trees, and Dodge City could be one of them.


     Edy's Fruit Bars is once again holding its annual "Communities Take Root" program. Twenty communities across the country will win an orchard of fruit trees, and Dodge City could be one of them.
     "This would be a really great thing for Dodge," said Terry Malone, board member for Sunflower Community Garden, where the orchard would be planted. "I hope everyone in the area gets excited about this and votes for the Sunflower Community Garden to win this orchard."
     The Communities Take Root program was established in 2010 to help feed underserved communities and improve the environment. So far the program has planted 1,600 fruit trees across the country, which will yield 88,000 pounds of fresh fruit a year.
     Once the trees are mature, they will remove 396,800 pounds of carbon dioxide and 12,800 pounds of air pollutants from the atmosphere while generating 312,000 pounds of oxygen each year, Fruit Tree Planting Foundation director Cem Akin said in a recent press release.
     FTPF partnered with Edy's Fruit Bars to help plant the trees in the winning communities. The foundation is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to planting fruitful trees and plants to alleviate world hunger, combat global worming and strengthen communities.
     The program is divided into four stages. The first stage began on April 16 and will run until 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time May 30. Once this round has ended, the five communities with the most votes will receive orchards. Those winners will not be in the running for the rest of the competition.
     The second round will run from May 31 to July 2, and when it is completed the top four communities will win that round. The third round will go from July 3 to July 31 and again, four winners will be chosen based on votes.
     The final round runs from Aug. 1 to 30, and the final four winners will be chosen.
     Once the program has ended, Edy's will personally select three more communities that did not receive the most votes for orchards, so by the time the contest is over 20 communities will have won orchards.
     To vote for Dodge City to be one of the winning communities, log on to www.communitiestakeroot.com and follow the instructions on the page. You can vote once a day until the end of the program. To make it an even better deal, each time you enter the site you can download a $1 coupon for Edy's Fruit Bars.
      If Dodge City wins, officials hope to plant between 50 and 75 fruit trees in the Sunflower Community Garden at Dodge City Community College. Cherry, apple, peach, pear and nectarine trees would all be planted for everyone in the community to enjoy.
The city would also receive an irrigation system, a groundbreaking party and plenty of Edy's Fruit Bars in addition to the orchard, according to the press release.

Reach Julia Kazar at (620) 408-9913 or e-mail her at julia.kazar@dodgeglobe.com.