Touch Grass: Reed Orchard

Located on the eastern end of the canyon, the Reed Orchard, or Centennial Orchard, is the perfect quiet little enclave hidden away from the rest of the college. On one side it is bordered by the canyon, accessible by its paths, and on the other is a small residential street. The orchard itself is small, with a speckling of fruit trees around, as well as a picnic table nestled under a vine-covered arbor. The arbor is actually a student art project from Geraldine Ondrizek’s Art 365 – Intersection: Architecture, Landscape class in 2019, where students Sara Hansen, Nick Chen, and Simcha Einhorn built the arbor, complete with a “laser engraved sign detailing the ecological importance of the space and flora including the Canyon and the pollinator garden.” To read more about the project, the report is up online in Studio Art Coursework. With its proximity to campus and relative obscurity, the orchard is a perfect mini escape, or a good rest point on a longer walk around the canyon, a change of scenery.

At Reed’s centennial celebration in 2011, the orchard was featured with a dedication of it as the Centennial Orchard, including a planting of an English walnut tree by then-President Colin Diver with the community as a centennial monument, according to the Reed College Canyon Blog. The celebration in the orchard was accompanied by conservation efforts as well as fresh apple cider, courtesy of a “newly released bike-powered fruit squeezer.” Per a Reed Canyon walking tour map, the orchard is home to a “variety of fruit trees, including pear, cherry, and plum, along with grapes, berries, and nut trees.” The orchard was also used in 2017 as the meeting place for that year’s Fall Canyon Day.

The Reed Orchard, or Centennial Orchard, is at the eastern edge of the Canyon, off SE 37th and Steele St. Just like in the canyon, students are welcome, as long as the space is respected, and the proximity to houses means there must be more consideration of those outside the Reed community. To learn more about the orchard, take a walk down, explore the trees, and have a chat under the shade of the grape vines. So, go out and touch grass in the Reed Orchard!

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