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Quail and Trail and Food Forest, Oh My!

Posted: 9.19.19

We first featured Planet Subaru’s eco-friendly efforts in 2016. Goatscaping showed us helping the environment can be fun…and furry. A showroom powered by the sun demonstrated Planet's commitment to renewable energy.

Three recent additions to the retailer's 10-acre campus prove Planet isn't slowing down. Read about the projects and their impact on recreation, food supply, natural habitats, and education.

release of quail

Quailure is Always an Option

The green team at Planet Subaru undertook the raising of 300 Northern Bobwhite Quail (Colinus virginianus) and released them into the dealership’s wildlife habitat. Customers, community members, and students from the Chapman Farm School helped the quail find their way from the cages and into nature. Northern Bobwhites travel in coveys and run across the ground from the shelter of one shrubby patch to another. When fully grown, they are a little larger than a robin but smaller than a crow. The quail population is threatened throughout their native New England range by habitat loss, but they are thriving at the dealership with its combination of forest, grassy areas, and rain gardens. Everyone appreciates their sonorous calls, distinctive plumage, and their prodigious ability to eat ticks!

fruit trees shown with shovels and truck

Planet Establishes Fruitful Partnership

Planet Subaru planted over forty mature fruit trees, along with vines and edible flowers, throughout the dealership’s 10-acre campus, near their on-site nature trail. Fruit varieties include Asian pears, peaches, persimmons, heirloom apples, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.

Planet Subaru funded the installation while receiving planning assistance from the Boston Food Forest Coalition, a non-profit community land trust dedicated to promoting food justice and sustainable urban agriculture.

Students from another area non-profit, the Chapman Farm School, helped plant the forest. They perform all farming duties. Planet Subaru initiated a partnership with the school after they lost their namesake farm and needed land for the children to steward. The school focuses on special children who learn best outside a conventional classroom. The kids ensure the plantings receive everything they need to thrive and produce fruit, with the bounty destined for local food banks.

A food forest is a sustainable land management system that mimics a woodland ecosystem, focusing on food-producing trees and shrubs. In a food forest system, edible plants produce healthy food, attract pollinators and pest-controlling insects, and build healthy soil by providing nitrogen and mulch. The Boston Food Forest Coalition seeks to revive and conserve Boston’s established legacy orchards, as well as create new edible food forest sites. Planet’s food forest is the newest installation in the coalition.


ruby trail designer with sign

Ruby Trail: Steps from the Dealership, Miles from Life’s Demands

Situated on its forested property, Planet Subaru created a nature trail for the benefit of its team members, customers, and local residents. The National Wildlife Federation has designated this area of the dealership as a Certified Wildlife Habitat. Nearly a half-mile in length, the trail conserves territory for a variety of flora and fauna, including a rare, protected species of lady slipper orchid. Amidst the sylvan beauty, walkers scamper over two colonial-era stone walls and may encounter coyotes, fox, wild turkeys, and even ospreys near the rain garden.

Planet Service Specialist Mark Negron designed the trail and named it after his daughter who loves the outdoors. He said, “I was a customer before I joined the team, and I’ve always appreciated Planet’s long-term commitment to considering the environment in its business decisions. I’m very proud of what we’re doing here for recreation and education.”

Planet’s service manager, Christa Collins, said, “I’m a working mom, and I lead 26 people here … sometimes I just need a few minutes to catch my breath and think. That I can take a walk in the woods, just steps outside the door, is a blessing. And many of our customers wait while their car’s in service … I’ve heard we have the nicest ‘service lounge’ anywhere!”


Thanks to Planet Subaru for the information and photos for this article.
Read our 2016 Planet spotlight here.




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