For Immediate Release
May 1, 2013
Contact: Gina Brandenburg
Knox Park Community Garden: Sowing the Seeds for a Healthier Community
The excitement level was high in Carrollton as about 80 community members and volunteers participated in the dedication and first official workday for the Knox Park Community Garden. The garden is the first of six planned community gardens made possible by Get Healthy, Live Well, a new initiative led by Tanner Health System and funded by a Community Transformation Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Rain—typically a blessing for a gardening project—forced organizers to postpone Sunday’s planned dedication and first planting, but volunteers were glad to take advantage of the pleasant weather Monday afternoon to begin the process of growing their own vegetables.
Following dedication remarks by Denise Taylor, chief community health, strategy and brand officer for Tanner Health System, Daniel Jackson, chairman of the board of directors for Tanner Medical Center Inc., and Jacqueline Dost, executive director of Keep Carroll Beautiful, an invocation was delivered by Karen Kagiyama, campus minister of United Methodist Campus Ministry (The Fish House).
After the invocation, community members and volunteers joined forces to make quick work of filling the garden’s raised bed plots with soil. Volunteers representing each of the partner organizations planted blueberries in the center plot. Four of the 10 plots available have already been adopted. The event also featured food served up by Simply Catering and music by Mahaley’s Grave, as well as several fun activities for kids like hoola hooping and making stepping stones.
“On behalf of Tanner Health System and our community partners, I’d like to thank the volunteers and community members who came out for the dedication ceremony and first work day,” said Taylor. “It was very satisfying to see so many different people come together to work on plots that will yield locally-grown food and promote healthy eating. We are all thrilled with the level of interest and participation that the Knox Park Community Garden project has generated.”
Get Healthy, Live Well is a new “creating healthier communities” initiative led by Tanner Health System and funded by a Community Transformation Grant from the CDC for the purpose of developing a comprehensive two-year community health collaborative to promote healthier lifestyles to more than 150,000 people of all ages throughout Carroll, Haralson and Heard counties through a variety of policy, environmental, programmatic and infrastructure interventions.
The Knox Park Community Garden is a collaborative partnership between Tanner Health System’s “Get Healthy, Live Well” initiative, Keep Carroll Beautiful, Incredible Edible Carrollton, the City of Carrollton and Carroll County Master Gardeners.
“The Knox Park Community Garden wouldn’t have been possible without the help of a group of people who worked hard to make it a reality,” said Taylor. “These include the chairs of the Knox Park Community Garden, Dost of Keep Carroll Beautiful and Jillian Walker of Tanner Health System; Melissa Astin and the other volunteers with Incredible Edible Carrollton; Kent Johnston with Carrollton Parks and Recreation for preparing the beds and providing the water; Carroll County Master Gardeners for the soil and education; Nicole Chapman and Jet Ellis with Simply Catering for the food; Walmart.com 7005 volunteers who built the raised beds; and Carrollton Home Depot 0132 for donating the materials.”
A community garden is a single piece of land gardened collectively by a group of people. Community gardens provide residents with fresh produce, as well as satisfying labor, neighborhood improvement, a sense of community and a connection to the environment.
The Knox Park Community Garden beds were assembled on Earth Day, April 22, by community volunteers and staff from Keep Carroll Beautiful and Walmart.com 7005. The City of Carrollton has provided land for the garden, as well as a storage closet and water source. The city also will maintain the areas around the garden plots during the summer.
Carrollton residents who are interested in becoming charter members of the Knox Park Community Garden or adopting a plot may call 678.235.5135 or send an e-mail to [email protected].
To learn more about the Knox Park Community Garden, visit www.GetHealthyWestGeorgia.org and click the Resources menu.