The five-acre Orange Grove is one of few remaining groves in the San Fernando Valley, and 400 mature Valencia orange trees remind visitors of Southern California’s agricultural past. A beautiful pond is home to red-eared slider turtles, koi and goldfish, and wheelchair-accessible walkways make the grove a popular spot for relaxing and exploring.
Twice- yearly orange-picking events, in spring and fall, are co-organized by the Institute for Sustainability and Food Forward, a local non-profit that specializes in coordinating gleaning and farmers market food recovery events throughout Los Angeles County. These events prevent fresh produce from spoiling on the trees, while also providing fresh and nutritious food for those in need.
Hundreds of volunteers–from CSUN students, staff, and faculty to volunteers from Bank of America, Ralphs, Starbucks, and the Do Good Bus–often pick more than 18,000 pounds of oranges. The fresh fruit is donated to local food pantries like Mend, SOVA, the Family Rescue Center, and Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Perish to be distributed among their food assistance recipients, where the addition of fresh fruit to non-perishable food staples is always welcome.