More Gardens, Healthier People

  Laurens First United Methodist Church operated a “giving garden” on church grounds last summer, providing fresh produce to share with others, including through the church’s food pantry. Meanwhile, the concept is growing fast in the area.

  Brie Holmes of the Laurens Y announced a few weeks ago plans for the “Step Up Laurens County” team working as part of a Pioneering Healthier Communities program to partner with the Laurens County Disabilities and Special Needs Board and have a community garden this coming season at the Board’s Evergreen Skills facility.

   This week, Laurens Mayor Sharon Brownlee proposed having community gardens in areas around town, using city owned property for people in that neighborhood. Council agreed with the concept during discussions.

    Yesterday, Brie Holmes told Laurens Rotary Club members about the “Step Up” teams plan for a community garden. She briefed the civic group on the Step Up Teams plans to encourage lifestyle changes for the entire county, including eating more healthy food and becoming more physically active.

     Holmes presented a number of statistics showing how the entire county has had drastically increasing percentages of overweight and even obese people over the past decade.

  She compared some statistics of Laurens County with other counties in the state and the national numbers. Laurens County actually came in better in some categories that some neighboring counties in overweight percentages, but had a lower number of people with ‘active’ lifestyles than most.