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Southern Georgia's Flourishing Community Gardens

An item of particular interest and transferability in the Southern Georgia RC Regional Plan is included in the Human Services/Aging section of the 2016 regional work program: Develop and implement a sustainability initiative. To address this, and with the help of a $5,000 grant awarded to the SGRC’s Area Agency on Aging (AAA) by the GA Dept. of Human Services, participants of the Clinch Co. Senior Center broke ground on a community garden in the spring. Located on a fenced plot next to the center, the garden hosts a variety of fruits and vegetables. Named “Garden of Hope – Sowing Seeds of Life,” it is maintained by center participants and local 4-H members.

The focus of the garden was to provide fresh vegetables within the community and to increase older adults’ access to produce. It also promotes multi-generational learning, increases physical activity, and enriches the lives of seniors who are excited to see the garden thrive. All of these outcomes fostered sustainability, an AAA plan goal as well as a regional work program activity.
The garden has served as a model and catalyst for the development of other gardens throughout the region. AAA staff brought awareness of the Clinch Co. garden to other key community members and stakeholders. The initiative was of particular interest to City of Douglas Commissioner Johnnie Lee Roper. Through a partnership he formed with the Providence Community Correction, which donated potting soil, seeds and other supplies, and the City of Douglas, the Coffee Co. Sr. Center now has a community garden that is maintained and harvested by senior center participants. The Bacon Co. Sr. Center has since developed their very own community garden while other area centers are considering the possibility also.
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