The Peace and Unity Community Garden in Sanford, NC is a project started by Crystal McIver, one of the Lee County Community Mentors working with Voices into Action. The garden has received a grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) through Nourishing North Carolina, a statewide community garden effort making local, healthy food more accessible to people across the state. In June 2011, BCBSNC launched this program in partnership with the North Carolina Recreation and Park Association (NCRPA) to create or enhance community gardens in all 100 North Carolina counties.
“This grant will allow us to expand our garden so we can provide fresh, local produce for more people in our community and encourage healthy eating habits,” said Crystal McIver. “We are proud to be part of the Nourishing North Carolina network. Our garden not only provides healthy food, it also provides a safe area for our neighbors to work together, share a public green space and be physically active through gardening.”
The Peace and Unity Garden is truly a community effort, involving several area organizations and individuals. Crystal’s vision to encourage Peace and Unity in Lee County and provide a source for healthy eating and positive activities for the community has become a reality as result of the support and dedication of many. This garden has already encouraged team building, positive thinking and healthier choices for life. The success of this community garden could not have happened without the support of the community. Several business such as Jackson Brothers, Big Bloomers, Tramway Stone and Mulch, Lowe’s Hardware, Dunn’s Home Improvement, Lee Hooker and the outstanding support of the families living on or around Washington and Hudson Avenue have contributed to the garden’s success.
The garden has brought together partners like Lee County Public Health, Brick Capital, Lee County Parks and Recreation, LeeCAN “A Healthy Carolinians Partnership,” Voices into Action, NC Cooperative Extension, the Lee County Master Gardener program, members of the Sanford Farmer’s Market, Southern Lee High School, and Lee County High School, and local residents in the Washington and Hudson Avenue area.
A number of groups, including the Lee HEALTh Task Force, a Voices into Action partnership, are coming together on June 22nd for “A Day at the Garden” as a celebration with the local community. The event will have cooking demonstrations, activities for children, a raffle for a one-month family membership to the YMCA, and a chance to share about the Washington Avenue area. The event will take place at the garden from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, weather permitting.
For more information about The Peace and Unity Community Garden, contact Brick Capital at 919-775-2300.