Our Stories

Remembering Roots: A Community Health Garden

Remembering Roots: A Community Health Garden

Jul 01, 2024

With an adult obesity rate of 46% and limited access to fresh, nutritious foods, Bienville Parish is one of Louisiana’s least healthy parishes. Using LHCC Community Grant funding, one community organization in Ringgold, LA chose to address these issues.

Betterment of Rural Lives (BORL) decided that a community garden would be a perfect project because it would be a sustainable asset to their rural, food-insecure community. BORL got community buy-in for the project from the beginning by involving community members in the development of the garden, educating them on health, wellness, and nutrition, and leveraging community partnerships to execute different project activities.

One unexpected success of this project was that it also brought the entire community together. Everyone, of all races, ages, and genders, volunteered to help with the garden. Police jurors, city council members, and other community officials also assisted with the project. The garden not only provided access to fresh foods but also provided a safe, positive space for everyday community members to build relationships with one another and elected officials in their town.

With this one project, BORL was able to not only provide fresh produce for their community but also allow them to build new connections and relationships. In the future, they hope to expand the garden with additions like fruit trees, greens, and sweet potatoes in the fall, and a sitting area for the elderly.

Do you also have an idea to improve the health of your community? Apply for an LHCC Community Grant! Grant applications will go live in July.  Please sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook to get notified when grant applications are active.

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