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What is the unique about our approach?
The Fayette County Family YMCA has a unique opportunity due to having a captured audience. We serve several children on state assistance through our child care programs. Currently we have over 100 children in our childcare programs. The YMCA also serves a large senior population. The opportunity to offer our young children fresh fruit and vegetables from the community garden paired with physical exercise gives them the healthy beginnings they need to become healthy adults and keep our seniors strong. The garden also offers a great youth development opportunity to learn about, the life cycle of plants, find out where their food comes from, insects, habitats, nutrition and so much more.
It also brings families together to share in these activities.. The garden would provide them with educational opportunities and exercise.

What is the purpose of the community garden?
The overall purpose of our project is to address the health outcomes of our county. Fayette County has a critical need for a community garden. In Ohio county health rankings, we were 71 out of 88 counties in health outcomes, 74th in health factors and 74th in health behaviors. Ranking authors state, child poverty rates have been slow to rebound in rural counties. This is important because we also know that a healthy beginning is essential to a healthy future for our children. The community garden could help fill that gap by addressing food insecurities and giving those children the healthy start they need. We also want to provide families a garden and teach them how to grow their own fresh food.

What is the project designed to accomplish?
Allow adults and children of diverse backgrounds to work side-by-side with a common goal
1. To provide a source of food for our community
2. To provide education, and physical activity to the children in our programs
3. To allow families and individuals without land of their own the opportunity to have access to fresh produce
4. To attract bees, butterflies, moths, wasps, flies, and hummingbirds. These are all important pollinators in our area. Using companion planting, the community garden will be a balanced combination of food for humans and food for pollinators.
5. Allow adults and children of diverse backgrounds to work side-by-side with a common goal

How do the proposed activities bring about positive change?
We believe there are many positive changes that will come from the community garden. The biggest of these being the impact we will have on reducing food insecurities in our community. It will also strengthen the YMCA’s community ties, improve poor nutrition, obesity and other challenges our community faces. We plan to offer educational programming about dietary habits to reduce obesity related diseases, teach food preparation skills and help families learn new food