The best way to support MORP’s program work is to become a founding SUSTAIN-A-TREE member! (Set up a recurring donation of $10 or more by clicking the big golden apple. Then check the box labeled “make my donation monthly”)
In 2015, Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project (MORP) received a Colorado’s Most Endangered Place listing for the historic Gold Medal Orchard which serves as a genetic bank and demonstration orchard for MORP. The orchard got its name after it won a gold medal for its apples and peaches at the 1904 Saint Louis Fair. Ms. Vivienne Kenyon who grew up in the orchard still lives there (now in her 90’s) and would like to see the orchard restored to its former glory. In 2019, this project was awarded an Endangered Places Progress Award by CPI at the Dana Crawford & State Honor Awards.
Over the last several years MORP has grafted thousands of heritage apple trees from over 100 historic orchards in Colorado to donate to community, school, and conservation orchards. With help from MORP and AmeriCorps volunteers several hundred of these heritage apple trees have been planted at the Gold Medal Orchard with 200 more to plant by 2019 (we will also plant a row of peaches plus a handful of cherries, pears, apricots, and plums).
Many of these historic apple varieties were submitted by MORP to the USDA ARS for identification by DNA testing. The preservation and testing of these rare genetics is made possible by a USDA Specialty Crop Grant Program award to MORP for the State of Colorado. A 2017 History of Colorado, State Historic Grant makes it possible for MORP to purchase botanical labels for the trees in the orchard. This will allow us to tell their individual stories and share their photos in the Sustain-a-Tree collection at the PlantsMap website. As the trees grow – and we learn more about them – we will add more information to their page. You now have the opportunity to become a founding MORP Sustain-a-Tree member to connect to this special orchard, support our program work, and have your name on a tree label in the orchard and in the tree description at the PlantsMap website! Your sponsored tree description will be added to the Plants Tab when you become a sustainer (we will share link with you).
When you become a founding MORP Sustain-a-Tree member you join a dedicated group of people reaching out each month to preserve Colorado’s fruit growing heritage. Together, we can be the sustaining-core keeping Colorado orchard country. We invite you to join this special group by making a sustaining monthly donation of $10 or more (click on the big golden apple); be sure to check the box labeled “make my donation monthly”. Please consider choosing the option to share your address with us so we can send you a proper thank you card! Continue reading to learn what a powerful contribution you are making.
Monthly donations of:
$10 or more = Teaches 30 or more students how to graft.
$25 or more = Provides 10 or more heritage fruit trees for donation to community, school, and conservation orchards.
$50 or more = Maps and documents 2 historic orchards and their associated histories.
$75 or more = Pays 2 days labor to train and deploy a team of MORP volunteers into historic orchards to prune or harvest.
$100 or more = Preserves 1 rare heritage fruit variety from extinction.
MORP members receive discounts on orchard workshops (follow us on FB) and hand-grafted heritage trees, and receive member-only invites to our heritage apple tree sale events.
Your sustaining membership will also help us reach our goals to:
1) Develop a sustaining funding stream to support MORP’s mission.
2) Spend more time on program work and less time on fundraising (our current annual budget is $120,000 with 80% going to programs)
3) Ensure that MORP is a healthy non-profit on solid ground to grow its vision into the future.
Our work targets our local community in Southwest Colorado, however, its benefits are far reaching as the importance of preserving diverse orchard heritage to grow local economy transcends borders. We are grateful to have members from every historic orchard district in Colorado as well as two dozen other states, attracting orchard owners, fruit enthusiasts, historians, cider makers, teachers, students of all ages, fellow non-profits and community organizations, research institutions, members of the media, and others to engage in our mission. We hope you will join us!
Finally, please consider spreading our message with friends and family that may connect to our work. Over the next three years our target is to build up to 300 sustaining members bringing in $40,000 annually for MORP’s program areas of Preservation, Education & Outreach, and Cultural & Economic Revitalization.
We are Grateful,
Addie & Jude & MORP Board of Directors
Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project (MORP) is working to preserve Colorado’s fruit- growing heritage and restore an orchard culture and economy to the southwestern region.
MORP envisions southwestern Colorado being renowned for an orchard culture and economy based on the legendary quality and diversity of Montezuma Valley Fruits.