Fruit and vegetable garden space, classes on gardening, cooking and food preservation all part of new project to promote healthy lifestyles
Local health-minded organizations broke ground on Monday, October 17th for the first community garden in Parker. The Parker Community Garden is a project supported by Healthy La Paz and its Community Garden Advisory Committee. Healthy La Paz is comprised of community and local government organizations that convened in the fall of 2015.
The project began 10 months ago as a way to transform a vacant and unused space at Parker United Methodist Church. La Paz County, including the Town of Parker, has limited access to healthy foods and many of the residents are from cultures that value farming but lack access to gardening space. In order to address the area’s poor access to fresh fruits and vegetables and the significant increases in obesity-related health issues, the Advisory Committee decided to develop a community garden in the town of Parker as their first project.
The first phase of the Community Garden is scheduled to be ready for planting in the next few weeks. A generous $2500, granted from the Industrial Development Authority of La Paz (IDA) gave Healthy La Paz’s Community Garden funds to enclose the 70 x 30 foot area located on the Arizona Avenue side of the church, and construct raised plots with an automatic watering system.
Local organizations can lease a 12 foot x 3 foot plot during this first phase. The second phase for the Spring/Summer growing season will begin in March and last through August. An educational gardening training, sponsored by the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, will be offered prior to each growing season and include cooking and food preservation classes.
The Parker Community Garden is located at the Parker United Methodist Church at 1300 South Ocotillo Avenue (on the corner of Arizona and Ocotillo) in the town of Parker. Call La Paz County Public Health Education & Prevention Program at (928) 669-1062 for more information on how to get involved.