The Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation recently awarded a grant in the amount of $30,000 to the Preservation Pottstown/Mosaic Community Land Trust to build Pottstown’s first community garden at 423 Chestnut Street. The Foundation’s grant will allow for the construction of up to 42 raised beds for planting and the installation of fencing, paths, a trellis, rain barrels, compost bins, benches, and a play area for children.
“We are honored and grateful to receive this grant from the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, which will allow us to complete Pottstown’s first community garden this spring,” said David Jackson, President of Mosaic Community Land Trust. “The garden will greatly increase access to healthy foods and already has many supporters in Pottstown and surrounding communities.”
Community gardens are a growing trend particularly in vacant lots in urban areas. They are viewed not only as a way for people who have limited access to full-service supermarkets for fresh produce to improve their nutrition, but also as a way for neighborhood residents to reconnect. Residents pay a small annual membership fee and are given a small plot in which to grow vegetables and flowers. Educational workshops will teach members how to garden and what tasks need to be completed throughout the entire growing season. Jackson noted, “Some of the additional benefits of a community garden include: improving the quality of life for neighborhood residents, stimulating social interaction, beautification of the neighborhood, and improving opportunities for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education.”
A key to the success of a community garden is the development of partnerships. Jackson includes as Mosaic’s partners for this project: Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, Borough of Pottstown, Pottstown School District, Genesis Housing Corporation, Susquehanna Bank, Lowes, Davey Tree Experts, Lointerhome, and many individual donors and volunteers.
The Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation enhances the health and wellness of area residents, providing education, funding and programs that motivate people to adopt healthy lifestyles. The Foundation was formed in July 2003 with the proceeds obtained from the sale of the Pottstown Memorial Medical Center. Non-profits interested in learning more about the Foundation’s grants program and application process should visit their website at www.pottstownfoundation.org. For great ideas on how to create a healthy lifestyle for you and your family, check out their online community, Mission Healthy Living, at www.missionhealthyliving.org