There is a growing community in Pierre – a growing community of growers! For the past decade, community members in Pierre have gathered to plant a variety of produce and flowers in community gardens. Their half acre of land is state property classified as a city project, and the garden consists of 45 plots ranging in size and price. Membership fees help repay the city of Pierre for watering and other services. But the benefits far outweigh the minimal cost of gardening.
According the AHA, there is significant research showing the health benefits of gardening and educational nutrition programs. Studies show garden-based nutritional intervention programs may increase fruit and vegetable intake among youth, as well as the willingness among younger children to try fruits and vegetables. In one study, adults with a household member who participated in a community garden consumed fruits and vegetables 1.4 more times per day than those who did not participate. And they were 3.5 times more likely to consume fruits and vegetables at least five times daily.
With childhood obesity rates threatening the future of millions of children, the American Heart Association encourages programs such as community gardening as a way to encourage children and adults to grow their own fruits and vegetables, and to make locally-grown produce a regular part of a healthy diet.
For more on the community garden project in Pierre, CLICK HERE.