Ready, set, grow

Revamped Bee Well community garden about ready to go

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The Bee Well Coalition finally had some good news regarding a new community garden site on Union Street.

Warren Sperry reported meeting with Prospect Bank officials and being assured the garden site, which is owned by the bank, will be made available for the community garden with a 10-year, rent-free lease. He added the bank plans to approach the city about bringing power, lighting and water onto the site.

Nothing, however, was in writing or signed as of the Bee Well meeting Thursday, March 7. That concerned Ron George – a community garden champion. He noted the growing season is rapidly approaching and there are things the community volunteers need to do but cannot until an official agreement is signed.

“As soon as the weather breaks, it’s time to get in there to do clean up and build beds,” said George.

The new community garden will feature raised bed gardening.

Brandi Eaton of the Edgar County Health Department is working on a program that teaches people how to run (see related story in the sports section). She said the Paris Pacers Running Club has shown interest in the project and is offering graduates of the program a 50 percent membership discount if they want to join the club and continue running.

“I think it will be a good partnership,” said Eaton.

She added a contact put her in touch with Indiana State University where students needing hours to complete a personal trainer program might be available to help during the evenings when the novice runners are working on building their endurance.

Discussion of running brought talk around to the Fun Run Program for children. Bee Well’s Fun Run started a few years ago as a summer activity to get children moving and active during the long school break. The program consists of children running 30-yard, 50-yard, 75-yard and 100-yard dashes. A half-mile and mile-run are also options for those willing to tackle the longer distances.

Fun Run was well received the first year and since then Bee Well has experimented by offering it at different times during the summer in the effort not to conflict with other youth oriented activities.

Erin Frank, one of the Fun Run founders, said an option for 2019 is starting the Fun Run June 18 just as the Learn to Run program concludes as a way of keeping that momentum going. Frank was concerned an early June start means the multi-week Fun Run will conflict with T-Ball.

Others at the meeting said there is no time to schedule the Fun Run when the event is not in conflict with some other activity.

“Our most successful fun run was in July,” said Mary Liz Wright.

It was decided to schedule the 2019 Fun Run from July 9-Aug. 8.

Wright recently approached convenience stores selling giant size soft drinks with refillable plastic cups about letting consumers have the option of re-filling the cup with water rather than more soda as a healthier option. She said only one store expressed clear interest and she needs to revisit the others that had to send the proposal up the corporate chain.

Eaton and Marissa Beck discussed an anti-tobacco grant the health department received. One requirement of the grant is the formation of a local coalition to fight tobacco use in the community, and they are actively looking for people to serve in that capacity.

Another requirement is developing a screening test for people who use tobacco products and are at high risk for diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

“People who are at high risk, we have to refer them to another source,” said Eaton. “We need outside providers willing to be a referral.”

The women said restrictions prevent the health department from dispensing nicotine patches or nicotine gum to people who want to quit even though these people may lack the financial resources to acquire these aids for breaking the nicotine addiction.

“Long term we want to go after e-cigarettes and create ordinances prohibiting smoking in parks and other outside recreational facilities,” said Beck.