Event to celebrate Community Garden

Published 10:31 am Friday, June 23, 2017

Fresh vegetables, educational programs and activities for children will be part of the ribbon cutting ceremonies officially opening Vicksburg’s Community Garden and walking trail Saturday at the Vicksburg Municipal Airport, U.S. 61 South.

The event begins at 9 a.m. The program includes the unveiling of an airport hangar garden mural funded by a grant from Mississippi Arts Commission and designed by art teacher Ashleigh Holiday and students in the Little Misters Club at Dana Road Elementary School.

“The celebration is a way to promote nutrition and physical activity and build strong community friendships while getting a little fresh air and exercise,” said Linda Fondren, founder of Shape Up Vicksburg and one of the garden’s organizers.

During the event, produce from the garden will be sold, and area vendors will be at the garden selling locally grown produce, such as green beans, squash, zucchini, purple hull peas, okra, potatoes, and tomatoes. There will also be a “U Pick” opportunity for participants to pick produce from the community garden for free. 

“We will also have several educational programs at the event,” Fondren said. “Newks general manager William Furlong will conduct a “Farmer’s Market Finds” demonstration on how to use your fruits and vegetables to create unique and delightful dishes.”

The Alcorn State University Extension Program will have demonstrations on cooking, soil testing, raised bed gardening, distracted driving and leadership skills, and will distribute recipe cards to people attending the ribbon cutting. Also, an outreach educator with the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science will have a presentation on the wildlife and natural history of Mississippi. 

Events and activities for children will include a giant slide, giant sandbox and a scavenger hunt with prizes. Adults will be able to participate in a raffle with prizes. The Tomato Place will offer lemonade, and Camilla Home Health will provide bottled water.

Other organizations participating include United Way of West Central Mississippi, AmeriCorps and the YMCA.

Located on a 6-acre tract of land at the airport, the Vicksburg Community Garden was organized in
May 2014 as a joint venture between the city, Shape Up Vicksburg and Alcorn State University to promote healthy lifestyles, which include exercise and healthy eating. The walking track, which goes around the garden, was built in 2016.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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