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Community Fruit Rescue Harvests Unwanted Apples, Keeps Bears Away From Boulder

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) - Neighborhoods across Boulder have a rich history of orchards, and all those trees get full of fruit at this time of year, which can attract bears. A nonprofit helps keep pick, sort and donate the fruit, keeping the bears away and helping those in need.

"I put that one in there," said Jackson, one of the youngest volunteers.

Community Fruit Rescue in Boulder
(credit: CBS)

"One, two, three," he numbered the three baskets the fruit is sorted into and pointed to each one.

"Basically we come and bring a bunch of poles and baskets and pick everything and then we find ways to distribute it to places where it will get used," said Julie Layne, a harvest leader with Community Fruit Rescue.

One basket holds the apples that are ready to eat. Those get donated to food banks. In another go the apples that maybe have some wormholes and blemishes. Those apples get turned into applesauce or apple pie.

"Pie! Pie, applesauce," said an excited Jackson, pointing to the second bin.

The ones that aren't fit for humans get donated to animal rescues.

"If you leave a whole bunch of fruit on the ground it just ends up making a mess," said Layne.

Community Fruit Rescue in Boulder
(credit: CBS)

The homeowner reached out to Community Fruit Rescue when they say all of the unused fruit on their property was going to waste or ending up in a compost pile -- a potential lure for wildlife and rodents.

"It just attracts the bears to places that we would really prefer not have bears. It's not safe for homeowners, it's not safe for residents and it's not safe for the bears in truth, because they need to be able to get their calories but in a way that's not going to potentially put them in harm's way," said Layne.

She says getting the fruit off the ground also helps there be more usable fruit in future harvests, and that mean more apples for everyone.

"I so much love apples," Jackson exclaimed, adding, "I love apples."

If you would like to join the harvest or donate to the nonprofit, you will find more information at their website:

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