delware environmental institute

Undergraduate geography student joins quest for accessible healthy food in urban areas

University of Delaware geography major Haley Stanko flips through a marble notebook filled with interviews, field notes, graphs and flowcharts as she explains the project that has consumed her past year. As an undergraduate, and only a sophomore, Stanko is impressively engaged in the research of Lindsay Naylor, assistant professor of geography in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.

As part of Naylor’s research on food justice, Stanko is investigating an initiative to plant fruit and vegetable bearing plants and trees in cities, in this case Philadelphia, where there is limited access to fresh foods.

In her research, Stanko works closely with an organization called the Philadelphia Orchard Project (POP). The group planted and cultivates 50 urban orchard sites creatively incorporated into the busy city, some as small as a plot of berries in the median of an intersection.