Community garden coming to airport

Published 11:00 am Monday, May 12, 2014

Vicksburg is getting a community garden.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Friday approved an agreement with Alcorn State University and Shape up Mississippi for the garden on six acres of property at the Vicksburg Municipal Airport on U.S. 61 South.

“This is wonderful. It’s good to know,” Shape Up Mississippi founder Linda Fondren said. Fondren was unable to attend the Friday board meeting.

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“It’s a very happy day for me, because this will bring the citizens of Vicksburg together in a way which has never been done before,” she said.

Fondren mentioned plans for the garden during a program for the Vicksburg Kiwanis Club in January.

The garden, which will be located on the south end of the airport property, near the airport drive entrance, is projected to have plants and a fruit orchard.

Under the agreement, ASU and Shape Up Mississippi will be responsible for recruiting and training volunteers, providing education on nutrition and food safety, select seeds and plants, and holding health and wellness programs and activities and programs for agricultural awareness.

“What we’re trying to do in Vicksburg is establish the community garden as part of our health and wellness programs,” said Joshua Coleman, field coordinator of ASU’s Cooperative Extension program. He said the health and wellness program focuses on three areas: physical activity, nutrition and home community gardens. The garden, he said, is the key to the program in Vicksburg.

“Our hope is that we’ll be able to provide residents across the city with access to fresh fruits and vegetables so they can incorporate those in their meals to provide more nutritional meals for themselves and their families.”