IMPROVING ACCESS TO HEALTHY, GARDEN-FRESH VEGETABLES
Nolan Hull, Volunteer
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Where are the Community Gardens?
Currently, one community garden has been adopted by the Colby United Methodist Church located on South Franklin Avenue and another is being planned and coordinated as a partnership project with the Western Prairie Food, Farm and Community Alliance. This new garden will be located on the east end of Copeland Park with an ultimate goal of becoming a community-led garden.
Who can participate in the garden?
Anyone and everyone is encouraged to participate in the community garden! Please contact either Maureen Ostmeyer of LiveWell or Volunteer Nolan Hull, both of Colby, to learn how you can get involved.
What happens to the produce?
In the past, more than 25% of the produce grown in the communal garden was donated to the local food bank and charitable groups. the remaining produce is shared by garden volunteers, used in Kids-a-Cookin' nutrition classes, and served at community events. Programming has been provided by K-State Research and Extension and service projects have been hosted by the local FFA chapter, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, 4-H Clubs and other youth groups.
When will the Community Garden be planted?
Planning for the new garden at Copeland Park is ongoing, thanks in large part to support from the City of Colby. At this time, a ground breaking date has not yet been determined. To stay informed, please visit the Western Prairie Food, Farm and Community Alliance's website.
How are gardens funded?
Land for the new community garden has been generously donated by the City of Colby. Grant funding, donations and volunteers are instrumental in the success of community gardens. Funding is used to purchase storage facilities, raised beds, irrigation systems, benches, compost bins and garden tools.
Who is coordinating the new community garden?
Maureen Ostmeyer of LiveWell Northwest Kansas and Nolan Hull, volunteer board member, are the primary contact persons for the project.
What is the Western Prairie Food, Farm and Community Alliance?
The Western Prairie Alliance is a regional food alliance for public officials, private sector partners, and food producers to better balance the demand for healthy local foods with market development. They seek to improve access to regionally grown healthy food options while promoting educational resources, as well. Alliance members include representatives from the northwest Kansas counties of Cheyenne, Decatur, Logan, Rawlins, Sheridan, Sherman, Thomas and Wallace.
With tremendous congratulations, LiveWell acknowledges the work of a five person H.E.R.O. team from the Alliance who were successful in receiving grant awards from the Sunflower Foundation to complete board training and a food assessment of the northwest Kansas food system. Members Sue Evans (former Executive Director of LiveWell) Misty Jimerson, Dani Hozwarth, Sandy Rodgers and Dana Charles focused their Healthy Eating Rural Opportunities Grant food assessment on research, education, policy, culture, funding and ecosystems. Further, they learned about local transportation issues, processing and packaging, buying habits and more. The assessment for each participating community can be found here.