By A. Lee Graham
The seeds of healthier living are taking root at the newly expanded Children’s Vegetable Garden at Fort Worth Botanic Garden.
At a Friday dedication, Mayor Betsy Price and others celebrated the expansion, intended to provide a gathering place for children and families to learn about healthy living and eating.
“Some of these kids have never been in a garden,” said Price, happy that Fort Worth was among only five cities chosen nationwide to receive this year’s GRO1000 showcase grants.
It’s part of a national program launched by ScottsMiracle-Gro in 2011 to create more than 1,000 community gardens and green spaces in the U.S., Canada and Europe by 2018. Joining Fort Worth in receiving grants this year were Bridgeport, Conn.; Cincinnati; Sacramento, Calif.; and Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Fort Worth received $15,000 for vegetable garden improvements and $10,000 in products from ScottsMiracle-Gro and other partners.
Partnering with ScottsMiracle-Gro in the program is the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
“This sends a message that our corporate partners are stepping up,” Price said of ScottsMiracle-Gro.
The grant helped Children’s Vegetable Garden add a new irrigation system, paved walkways, educational pavilion, playhouse, greenhouses and garden beds. A new educational pavilion at the site will serve as an outdoor classroom for public workshops and classes on container gardening, specialty plants and healthy eating. “We launched the GRO1000 initiative to bring communities together to create more gardens and green spaces for people to enjoy,” said Jim Tates, president, U.S. West Region and Latin America, ScottsMiracle-Gro, commenting in a news release.
“We are proud to be working with Mayor Price to help improve the lives of Fort Worth residents through gardening,” Tates said.
“Educating students about where food comes from and giving them hands on experience develops solid stewardship that will last a lifetime,” Texas Agriculture Commissioner Scott Staples said before attending the dedication.
“I applaud Mayor Price, the city of Fort Worth and ScottsMiracle-Gro for strong leadership promoting water and food planting, two necessary components of meeting the needs of a rapidly growing state,” Staples said.