“My administration is committed to enhancing and expanding community gardens for families in the District, and we are proud to partner with Whole Foods in this initiative," said Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. “This partnership marks a great investment in the health of our communities.”
Whole Foods donated $25,000 to DPR to install community gardens at 56 recreation centers across the District of Columbia. The donation will be put towards, tools, plants, soil, and mulch. The donation will also help DPR install bee hives in every ward. The new community gardens are open to all community members with a focus on youth and senior adult participation.
“It’s exciting to have a project that not only beautifies the city but also promotes health, nutrition, and community involvement,” said Interim Director Hartsock. “With the support of Whole Foods Market, DPR can promote environmental education and green living.”
“We are very excited to be part of this initiative with DC Parks and Recreation,” said Whole Foods Market Regional President, Ken Meyer. “Whole Foods Market has made a commitment to help establish gardens in the communities in which we do business. This is a great opportunity to educate children, families and DC residents about where our food comes from and the importance of fresh, local ingredients. Everyone can take part in these gardens, nurture them, learn from them and share. We tell this story in our stores, now it’s time to bring it out into our neighborhoods and put that commitment into practice.”
Whole Foods Market is encouraging area stores and employees to participate in all aspects of the program such as constructing and tending to gardens, providing scraps for composting, hosting workshops in afterschool programs, and hosting cooking demonstrations. Additionally, at the announcement, Whole Foods Market provided a food tasting of dishes with produce that will be grown in many of the gardens.
The majority of gardens will be installed by Americorps NCCC team members. Recreation staff along with youth and seniors within each community are encouraged to maintain the gardens throughout the year. This program is being supported in part by organizations including the University of the District of Columbia, Greater DC Cares, Student Conservation Corps (SCA), Neighborhood Farm Initiative (NFI) / America the Beautiful Foundation (ATB), Rooting DC, and City Year.
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