News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Valley Life

May 5, 2013

YOUR GREEN VALLEY: Union Hospital creates community garden

Union Hospital will be opening a community garden on its campus in mid-May. Before they embarked on such a challenge, they looked to their neighbor Indiana State University for advice.

In 2008, ISU started a community garden. Roughly a year after they opened to the public Patti Weaver, a local Master Gardener, stepped up to help manage the garden. Weaver has been gardening since the early 1970s. She first learned from a neighbor, who she watched and helped work the soil with her hands. From that experience, she slowly developed her education on gardening. Ever since, Weaver has passed on her knowledge to others.

“With my education I feel I can benefit others who are new to gardening and pass forward what I know,” Weaver said.

Gardeners Are a Community of Their Own

When you live in Terre Haute you belong to the community of Terre Haute, a neighborhood within the city and a family within a neighborhood. When you bring people from different parts of the city together (in some cases the world), there often is a common link. The common link at ISU’s community garden has been each owns ability to learn how to grow and care for their own food. Weaver has worked tirelessly keeping every gardener informed and making them feel like they belong to something. With that comes the mutual respect for others. For example, Weaver says, if someone is going to put squash in their plot a foot and a half from the boundary, they have to realize that squash plant is going to crawl over into their neighbor’s plot. These lessons teach each gardener to be a good neighbor.

“The ISU community garden has a very eclectic group of people and what the two block of space is saying to the world is that we can get along. We can have a harmony and grow food and have a healthy type of lifestyle for all kinds of economic and socio groups of people,” Weaver said.

Union Hospital Lays the Ground Work

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires not-for-profit hospitals to conduct a community health needs assessment. Union Hospital is a not-for-profit hospital. During their community health needs assessment, they realized that childhood obesity was a big issue in our community. The assessment also revealed obesity in general and access to healthy foods was a problem. The assessment results are prevalent in the neighborhoods surrounding Union Hospital. To curb these problems, Union Hospital officials believe that a community garden would be a great way to increase access to healthier foods by making plots available to their immediate neighbors first. The community garden will be located on one of many Union Hospitals empty plots. The garden will be located at the corner of Seventh Avenue and North Sixth Street.

The garden has been reserved for the residents within the neighborhood surrounding Union Hospital from Third Street to North 10th Street and from Maple Avenue to Locust Street. Union Hospital employees will be going door to door in the targeted area handing out fliers and registration forms for those who may be interested in a plot. The garden plots vary from 10 by 10 to 10 by 15. Plots will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“If the neighborhood secures all of the plots, we will think about expanding next year. If there are no plots still available, they will be open to Union Hospital and Hamilton Center employees for gardening,” said James Twitchell,  marketing and public relations representative for Union Hospital.

Twitchell says the greater issue for the targeted neighborhood is poverty. A lot of the folks in that area do not have transportation, which limits their access to purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables regularly. The community garden will provide the opportunity to those interested to walk or ride their bike to the garden. Those who have been reluctant to garden, as means of providing for themselves, because of the cost of garden tools are in luck. Tools and water for the plants will be provided on site.

“The community garden makes sense for the neighborhood and the hospital as we continue to look at preventative medicine more in this country. Healthy food is a big part of preventative medicine,” Twitchell said.

Gardening Equals Nourishment

When Weaver first heard the news about Union Hospital’s plan, she got so excited and jumped for joy and wishes them the best of luck. Weaver has extended her skills, once again, to help any gardener who comes on board. She says there is nothing better than eating a piece of lettuce, tomato or radish from your own garden.

“It is heady to know where your food came from and that you grew it and that you can feed people. It is very empowering that you can do that,”Weaver said.

Union Hospital’s community garden is slated to open on May 18. Those interested in reserving a plot should contact James Twitchell at 812-238-7657 or jtwitchell@uhhg.org.

Jane Santucci is an environmental freelance writer for the Tribune-Star. Santucci is a proud volunteer with TREES Inc. and Our Green Valley. She also sits on the Wabash Valley Goodwill Industries Board of Directors. Share your environmental stories and tips with her at JaneSantucci@yourgreenvalley.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Valley Life
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Raw: Man Fatally Shot During Police Standoff New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Raw: Royal Couple Tours Uluru in Australia SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: MN Lakes Still Frozen Before Fishing Opener
NDN Video
Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity