TIFTON — The Harley Langdale, Jr. Foundation has announced that it is awarding a grant to Mims Kids, Inc. to expand its Health and Wellness/Community Gardening Project, according to a press release.

Mims Kids, Inc., a local nonprofit established in 1994 by Joyce and Larry Mims, initiated a Health and Wellness/ Community Gardening Initiative in 2017 with the assistance of the Medical Executive Committee at Tift Regional Medical Center and Collins Event Center CEO MJay Hall. The initiative focused on providing Mims Kids students with raised planter beds located at Collins to teach them how to plant, maintain and harvest a community garden, the release states.

Planter beds and benches were donated by the Medical Executive Committee, Collins Event Center donated the space and local farmers Carroll Coarsey and Gibbs Patrick donated seeds and soil. County Extension Agent Scott Carlson provided technical expertise to the students and assisted with the first planting. ABAC ambassadors volunteered to assist the students with planting seeds and maintaining the planter beds. The students planted and harvested string beans, squash, cucumbers, onions and kale.

The grant from the Langdale Foundation will be used to expand the project.

A week-long summer wellness and community gardening camp will be held in June. Fifteen students (the “Young Sprouts”) will experience a week of activities which will include farm tours, planting and tending vegetables in raised garden beds, constructing a raised planter bed, a tour of the canning plant to can vegetable soup, cooking classes and lessons about healthy lifestyles and the ecology, the release states. The camp will be directed by Penny Peters, who currently serves as gardening/art teacher at Matt Wilson Elementary School.

Other plans for the Health and Wellness/Community Gardening Project include providing opportunities for additional students to participate in the gardening project during the school year, educational tours of local agricultural enterprises, collaboration with Tift Regional Medical Center and the UGA School of Agriculture to present students with opportunities to learn about careers in healthcare and agriculture and engaging the parents of participants in cooking classes and discussions about creating family gardens and maintaining healthy lifestyles.  

The Harley Langdale, Jr. Foundation was established in 1958 for educational, scientific, religious and charitable purposes. It seeks to enhances communities and promote the entrepreneurial spirit that Harley Langdale, Jr. exhibited throughout his life. Its focus is the support of education programs, health care initiatives, faith-based activities, youth programs and other initiatives to foster community improvement primarily in Georgia.

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