Feature Initiative: Community Gardens

community garden

The Think~Act~Be Healthy Communities Initiative is Focused on Making it Easier for Everyone to be Healthy

The Winter Park Health Foundation’s (WPHF) Think~Act~Be Healthy Communities initiative is based on the belief that when you create a healthy community environment—by adding and supporting  features such as bike trails, community gardens and farmers markets—you make it easier for everyone to be healthy.

Launched in 2007, the initiative is focused on the development of projects, policies and practices that promote healthy eating, encourage physical activity and reduce tobacco use.

Most recently, WPHF approved grant funding for seven new community garden projects in Eatonville, Maitland and Winter Park totaling $133,107.

The community garden grants are designed to give local organizations a tangible way to bring about positive change in the community while furthering the Foundation’s objective of encouraging healthy eating through improved access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

They will also create opportunities for recreation, exercise, therapy and education, as well as intergenerational connections and are particularly timely because community gardens can be a source of economical fresh produce as residents struggle to make ends meet.

Grant recipients include:

  • The Interfaith Council on Community Health–which plans to build on the success of its existing community garden and develop a garden on the site of the Depugh Nursing Center in downtown Winter Park.
  • Winter Park Towers–which will develop a community garden with raised beds and potted plants to accommodate persons with disabilities, along with traditional garden beds.
  • Dommerich Elementary School–which will start a garden to be created in a central area on campus that would benefit both Dommerich Elementary and Maitland Middle School
  • The Winter Park 9th Grade Center–which will build a community garden project that will include a native plant garden, reading area and an onsite vegetable garden useful to all academic levels.
  • Brookshire Elementary School–which plans to develop a community garden that includes raised, irrigated outside planting beds, hydroponic gardening system and worm composting bins.
  • Hungerford Elementary School—which will establish a “Learning Community” garden that will be organic and consist of raised garden beds with help from students, parents and the volunteers from the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Organization.

Click here for more information on the Community Gardens Grants and the Healthy Communities initiative.