Blue Zones Project Brevard Awarded a $12,000 Grant to Enhance Community Gardens

 

The Blue Zones Project community of Brevard, N.C., recently won a $12,000 grant to enhance its community garden.

The grant, awarded by AARP North Carolina, was one of four winning projects in the state, according to the AARP. Funds will be used to build ten accessible raised-bed garden plots to an existing community garden in Brevard’s historically black community.

The AARP grant was one of four winning projects in the state. Funds will be used to build ten accessible raised-bed garden plots to an existing community garden in Brevard’s historically black community. Click To Tweet

The raised beds are designed to be easier to use for people over 50 and young children.

[Watch the AARP 2022 Community Challenge Winner Video]

The planned improvements also include new benches for the garden and a nearby skatepark, which are expected to be linked to the forthcoming Estatoe Trail system.

The planned improvements also include new benches for the garden and a nearby skatepark, which are expected to be linked to the forthcoming Estatoe Trail system.

In its announcement of the grant, the AARP said the enhancements will begin this fall, “with money and many volunteer hours from the Blue Zones Project and Gaia Herbs, one of Brevard’s largest manufacturers.”

“While the grant focuses on the garden itself, it is part of a much larger plan to connect different neighborhoods and activity centers across the city through a bike trail system,” city activist Sara Knapp said in the AARP announcement. “The City is working to bring the community together, make it a great place for visitors, and bolster the local economy.”

“While the grant focuses on the garden itself, it is part of a much larger plan to connect different neighborhoods and activity centers across the city through a bike trail system.” 

Brevard is working to bring the community together, make it a great place for visitors, and bolster the local economy Click To Tweet

The garden is expected to help promote healthy food choices in Brevard through demonstrations and classes.

Brevard is one of over 70 Blue Zones Project communities nationwide. Backed by research of the original blue zones—rare longevity hotspots where people thrive into their 100s—Blue Zones Projects help communities transform by making lasting changes to the environment in which people live, work, and play so that healthy choices are easier. 

Gardening is an integral part of life in blue zones regions worldwide, where home and community gardens provide a sustainable and inexpensive source of fresh food and good nutrition. 

Moreover, the activity of gardening has been shown to boost mood as much as exercise, according to a 2020 study of 370 people in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

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