Community Garden Provides Health Benefits and Improves Overall Quality of Life in Community

Community gardens aren’t just beautiful, they can also be a great way to combat local hunger issues.

Pryor Creek Community Garden in Oklahoma is helping at-risk children and senior citizens ensure they are getting adequate amounts of food every single day.

According to The Pryor Daily Times, along with the Mayes County HOPE Coalition, the Pryor Creek Community Garden is encouraging local businesses, groups, and individuals to adopt a garden plot and contribute to assisting those in need.

Community gardening has become a popular trend over the last few years. As of 2014, 35% of all American households (42 million) were growing food either at home or in a community garden, which is a 17% increase over the previous five years.

“Did you know that one in four Oklahoma children is at risk of going hungry every night?” asked Jeannie Robinson of HOPE. “Did you know that one in six Oklahoma seniors (over 60) struggle with hunger? Did you know that 6,750 people in Mayes County are considered food insecure?”

In addition to assisting those in need, HOPE’s mission is to do whatever possible to encourage healthy lifestyles for families and individuals around Mayes County, as well as to provide a healthier place to work, live, and spend time.

Those who sponsor a garden plot are able to attend classes on various gardening skills, including composting, organic gardening, conservation tips, and pest control. In addition to lack of funding, pests can quickly ruin a community garden if preventative measures aren’t taken. The U.S. pest control industry, because of its importance, is expected to reach roughly $12.29 billion in revenue through 2017.

Fortunately, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that community gardens can help both the environment and the community at large.

“Gardens may offer physical and mental health benefits by providing opportunities to eat healthy fresh fruits and vegetables, engage in physical activity, skill building, and creating green space, beautify vacant lots, revitalize communities in industrial areas and decrease violence in some neighborhoods,” said a CDC spokesperson, “and improve social well-being through strengthening social connections.”

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