The BRIC Partnership consisting of Healthier Together, Make Health Happen, and the MTC Community Outreach program has continued working in the East St. Louis and Washington Park footprint to help increase access to healthy foods through community gardening and local food pantry improvements. These garden sites include the Christian Activity Center, Lalumier Elementary School, and the SIUE Charter School campus. Each site has a master gardener, or garden coordinator that oversees the revitalization, schedules garden work days, along with harvesting and general upkeep of the garden site. While these gardens have only been up and running for a few months, they are making great strides. Much of what is harvested from these locatiosn is donated to local public housing residents and surrounding food pantries.
The Lalumier Community Garden site held an open the house on Saturday, October 23rd, inviting the community to come out and tour the garden. Volunteers worked on preparing the garden beds for the end of season, while the Health Department, Make Health Happen, and Eat.Move.Save offered educational booths to share nutrition and program information. Participants were also treated to fruit & vegetable smoothies with the help of some energetic volunteers riding on a Smoothie-bike. While the weather was gloomy, the rain held off and there were more than twenty community members in attendance.
As the gardening season comes to a close, our volunteers are prepping to close down the beds for the winter. Hay is used to cover the pathways. More will be brought in to cover the rest of the garden paths and beds to help keep them prepped for a spring replant. Before the offical close of the garden, the partnership is hoping to schedule a student learning day on site with the Lalumier 2nd grade students. The hope is to educate the students about gardening and nutrition through a hands on approach while adding the fun element of the smoothie bike and the Eat.Move.Save booth.
For more information on how you can get involved contact us HERE or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funding for this project was made possible (in part) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The views expressed in written materials or publications do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.