Throughout Columbus, impressive community gardens are thriving and bringing people together. These numerous gardens are helping build civic pride and beautify neighborhoods. Inspiring people fill the ranks of community gardeners, one such Columbus resident, Peggy Murphy, started the Highland Youth Garden in the Hilltop area four years ago.
“I wanted to talk to kids about what they can do and not just about what they shouldn’t do,” Murphy said.
Murphy works with teachers to educate hundreds of children from the nearby Hilltop Elementary School and elsewhere on the importance of being healthy, gardening, and protecting the environment.
“They want to taste what’s in the garden, not just look at it. Here children learn that they can do things to make a difference in their own lives.”
Murphy believes it is important to support all community gardens. She focuses on small problems where progress can more easily be made. Supporting children and families in their quest for affordable and accessible fresh produce to fight obesity and diabetes is central to her efforts.
“People want locally grown food, one, because it’s less expensive, and two, because it’s more healthy when you pick it out of the garden. It’s not just a fad. It’s growing in all communities. Community gardens are here to stay,” Murphy said.
The lessons go beyond healthy eating as Murphy works math and science into the garden programs and the students are truly engaged and learning.
“They are caring more about learning, beautifying their neighborhoods, and making sure to recycle. From the community garden to The Ohio State University, that’s our long-term goal,” Murphy said.
Watch children work in the garden and learn more in the video below:
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Community Gardens Fund of The Columbus Foundation is one of numerous organizations getting behind the community garden movement in Columbus. Nonprofits can learn more about Columbus Foundation grant opportunities HERE. Find more about community gardens around Columbus on the Greater Columbus Growers Coalition Facebook page HERE.
Donations can be made to the Hilltop Youth Garden through the Hilltop Christian Community Development Corporation via their PowerPhilanthropy portrait.
Information about local nonprofits is available 24/7 through the Foundation’s online resource, PowerPhilanthropy, which is available to everyone who wants to be more informed about the nonprofits they care about. PowerPhilanthropy makes it easy to donate to the causes you care about at columbusfoundation.org/p2/.
“Everyone in Columbus is starting to rally together. Just think, if we go one street at a time and people start planting gardens, and beautifying, it can make a difference, not just here in the Hilltop, but all over Columbus as we celebrate our 200th anniversary,” Murphy said.