Encouraging healthy lifestyles is a major goal of the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), Area Agency on Aging, and few things are more important to good health than proper nutrition and exercise. ARC’s Senior Community Garden Initiative is improving seniors’ health by increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables and providing opportunities for older adults to remain active and engaged.
"Community Gardens" from Atlanta Regional Commission on Vimeo.
A grant to ARC from Kaiser Permanente is helping to fund 11 new gardens at senior centers and other facilities that serve older adults in the Atlanta region. Partnering with ARC are the Federation of Southern Cooperatives Land Assistance Fund, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, Open Hand and the Aging Network. The Federation of Southern Cooperatives is providing hands-on assistance to plan, plant and sustain the community gardens. Open Hand offers nutrition education and cooking classes. Each garden received seed money for items such as garden soil and soil amendments, lumber and other supplies for beds and structures needed to support the garden, plants and seeds, gardening tools, watering hoses and other irrigation equipment.
As part of the initiative, ARC has published a Community Gardening Manual (PDF) to help others who want to organize a garden in their neighborhoods. It provides information on how to start and sustain participation in a community garden, as well as information about what plants grow well in metro Atlanta. Please download it and share it with others who want to start more community gardens in the region.
Senior Garden Initiative Locations
- Center for Pan Asian Services, Rainbow Heights, Snellville
- Cherokee County Senior Services, Canton
- Clarkston Community Center, Clarkston
- Cobb Mableton, Mableton
- North Cobb Senior Center, Acworth
- Douglas Senior Services, Douglasville
- Marian Road High-rise, Atlanta
- Northside Shepherd Senior Center, Atlanta
- Vivian T. Minor Adult Day Care Center, Atlanta
- DeKalb Atlanta Senior Center, Atlanta
- Scottdale (Hamilton Community Center)Senior Center, Scottdale