SA Youth, a local nonprofit after-school program, is the proud recipient of the UnitedHealth HEROES service-learning grant for $1,000. The money will be used to initiate a community gardening program that will encourage the community to participate in outdoor activities, and help combat obesity and diabetes by teaching healthy lifestyle habits.
The community gardening program will involve creating and maintaining several gardens around the community. Members will create three garden sections at the Cooper Learning Center and four gardens at SA Youth's Community Learning Centers, including: a community vegetable garden open to residents in the neighborhood; a Texas Natives and Butterfly Garden which will serve as a teaching tool displaying information about native plants; and a learning garden for the students to practice their gardening techniques and to use as a tool to teach the community.
"Community gardens specifically address the issue of childhood obesity by supporting healthy food choices among adults and children, and enhances the communities access to fresh fruits and vegetables," said Cynthia Le Monds, CEO of SA Youth. "The garden will promote physical activity and emphasize the importance of caring for the environment, while staying out of trouble."
In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the public is encouraged to join SA Youth for the grand opening of the Dan Cook Dream Garden from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., Jan. 21, at 1215 W. Poplar.