New Coalition Puts Down “Roots” in Xenia To Plant Community Garden and Address Food Insecurities
A new coalition known as “Community Roots” will establish a new community garden in Xenia’s East End neighborhood, with the goals of building community, improving health and strengthening food security.
On Saturday, April 28th, 2018, Community Roots will host a Planting Day at a new community garden in Lexington Park, located at 1067 Lexington Ave in Xenia. The event will be held from 9:00 to 11:00am and is open to the community. In the event of inclement weather, a rain date is set for Friday, May 4th, 2018 from 4:00 – 6:00pm.
The Community Roots coalition is comprised of Greene County Public Health, the City of Xenia, Central State University Extension, and Ohio State University Extension Greene County. The goal of Community Roots is to promote healthy lifestyles across Greene County.
A critical barrier to healthy lifestyles in parts of Xenia and other communities is food insecurity. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. According to an article from the Journal of Nutrition, most adults living in food-insecure households report being unable to afford balanced meals, worrying about the adequacy of their food supply, running out of food, and cutting the size of meals or skipping meals. There are studies that show that food insecurities can also lead to adverse health effects for both adults and children, including chronic illness, along with developmental and mental health problems.
The Lexington Park community garden in Xenia is Community Roots’ first project. Unlike Xenia’s existing garden in West Side Park that provides independent plots for a fee, this new garden will provide shared, communal gardening space along with an educational series for those interested in learning about gardening, nutrition, and sustainability. The garden and associated programming are intended to increase nutritional awareness, promote gardening as a means of affordably accessing healthy foods, encourage community engagement and aid the revitalization of Lexington Park. More information will be available in the near future about the educational programming.
Garden participants can attend the April 28 event and future events to help plant and maintain the communal garden, or simply to watch and learn so they are better equipped to start their own gardens.
This project has been made possible through the support of the following organizations and efforts:
- Grant funding through the Ohio Department of Health and Greene County Public Health The 3rd grade students of Shawnee Elementary School are the first participants in the community garden! They are working hard to sow all the seeds that will be planted in the community garden.
- Kroger for donating fresh produce that was distributed to the community by members of the Community Roots coalition when they went out to invite members of the neighborhood surrounding Lexington Park.
- A & L Water Services and Sanitation for providing Community Roots with services for the Planting Day event.
- Greene County Parks and Trails and Greene County Environmental Services for providing leaf compost and support for the new garden.
- Lowe’s Xenia will also be providing support for the new garden.