The National Recreation and Park Association along with the Walmart Foundation have been opening up new opportunities for healthy living and eating across the country. A recent grant from the organizations made way for a new and innovative program at Palmer Park this summer. Beginning in June and running through the end of August, Grow Buddies is bringing together adults and kids of all ages over gardening, healthy food, and nutrition.
The program offers fun ways to introduce healthy eating habits and learn about gardening while having fun outside with “old” and “new” friends. Grow Buddies pairs seniors with kids attending Camp Palmer to create innovative raised bed gardens in the recently developed Sprout City playground. According to Kim Harmer who works with special projects at Palmer Park, “One of the reasons (they) started this is because some seniors who were coming in for the lunch program were arriving early. Staff observed that the seniors were interested in the kids’ camp activities which prompted the park staff to create this unique program.” Activities through the program include gardening, harvesting, taste-testing and more, which Harmer says, has “inspired many kids to try new things and discover healthy foods and snacks.”