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Bonne Terre, MO: Bonne Terre gets grant for community gardens

  • Subject: [cg] Bonne Terre, MO: Bonne Terre gets grant for community gardens
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 19:49:04 EST

Bonne Terre gets grant for community gardens

By TERESA RESSEL\Daily Journal Staff WriterBONNE TERRE -- The city park will soon have a new addition that is geared for senior citizens. The city is starting a community garden for seniors and their families.

Residents can start signing up for the city's community garden from 11 a.m. to noon Thursday at the Bonne Terre Senior Center, located in the city park. After Thursday, residents can sign up at city hall. For more information call 358-2254.

"It's geared toward seniors," said council member Janet Barton. "And we're using a real broad definition of senior citizens."

Barton said anyone 55 years or older can sign up for a garden plot. She said they are encouraging grandparents to share it with their grandchildren or entire family.

The garden plots, the seeds and even the equipment will be free. The community garden project is being funded through a Missouri Department of Health Cardiovascular grant.

"It was the primary work of Diane Williams, the director of the county health department," Barton said.

Because of the high rate of cardiovascular disease in the county, Williams was able to obtain this grant and another one for the city's Lakeview Park.

Williams hopes the community garden project will encourage healthy eating -- residents will be able to plant vegetables and some fruits. She said it is a way to make people aware of the foods they should be eating.

She said gardening is also a way for seniors to get exercise.

The garden will be located in the city park. Garden plots will be four foot wide and 10- to 20-foot long.

Barton plans to have some garden beds that are wheelchair-accessible.

"The garden plot will be prepared," Barton said. "We will buy the seeds and the tools with the grant money. We will provide water for irrigation. We only ask them to care for and maintain the garden plot."

Gardeners can do whatever they want with the food they grow. Barton said they can sell it, can it, or donate it to the senior center. She hopes to someday have a farmer's market in the city.

"I'm really excited," Barton said. "I think this will be a fun project."

She said there was a lot of space in the city park that was not being used.

"It will give citizens a chance to interact," she said. "It will be nice to see that kind of activity going on in the park."

Barton does have some concerns about protecting the garden but added there are community gardens in New York City.

Various groups and individuals will help with the community garden.

Williams said it is a community project because people who are experienced in gardening can supervise and scouting groups can help with the hard labor.

Jeannie Holmes, the horticulture instructor at Mineral Area College, has been working with the city to determine where the best location for the garden is and what could be planted there.

"She lives near the park and she is filled with all kinds of ideas," Barton said.

Holmes and Joe Stone, the owner of County Way Nursing, will be able to answer questions about gardening.

©2003 Bonne Terre "The Daily Journal"

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