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Accessible garden lets DeKalb seniors grow

Published: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 7:00 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Provided photo)
Residents at Pine Acres Rehabilitation Center in DeKalb helped plant a raised garden installed by DeKalb County Community Gardens. The garden beds are raised on legs, so people in wheelchairs or those unable to get down on the ground can still garden.

DeKALB – DeKalb County Community Gardens installed a handicapped-accessible garden for the residents of Pine Acres Rehabilitation Center in DeKalb.

DeKalb County Community Gardens has raised and donated several tons of food over the past two years to food pantries, senior living facilities, and child care centers. DCCG works to strengthen access to fresh, sustainably grown food. Part of this work involves installing gardens that are on legs, and accessible from a sitting position. This allows people who are unable to get down to the ground level to enjoy gardening. 

The beds work for those who need to garden from a wheelchair or from a sitting position. The goal is to make gardening available to anyone who wants to participate.

“The residents love our new garden,” Pine Acres activity director Kay Coover said.

The community garden group has gardens in 40 locations around the county. The locations include the Adult Day Center in DeKalb, Taylor Street apartments, elementary schools, churches, businesses, and many other locations. The group also installs gardens in back yards for people to garden from their own homes. 

“Our goal is to increase access to fresh, locally grown food using sustainable methods,” said Dan Kenney, founder, president, and executive director of DeKalb County Community Gardens. “DCCG wants to close the meal gap, and end food insecurity in DeKalb County by providing the support people may need to grow their own food.” 

According to Feeding America, 13 percent of DeKalb County adults and 19 percent of children are considered food insecure. The DCCG organization is working with over 70 partners and sponsors to address the issue of food insecurity in the county. 

“No one should go without fresh vegetables in the summer in DeKalb County,” Kenney said.

The residents of Pine Acres helped plant vegetables, herbs, and flowers in their garden. One woman who helped in the gardening had owned a floral shop for over 40 years before entering the rehabilitation center.

For more information about the DeKalb County Community Gardens or about the handicapped-accesssible beds, visit www.dekalbgardens.org, email Dan Kenney at dkenney53@hotmail.com, or call 815-793-0950.

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