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Join us as we help our community grow

Get your shovels, put on your gloves and smile, because the City Challenge for our Children is on!

The City Challenge for our Children provides an opportunity to unite our whole city by assisting the schools and churches in starting a fall garden, continuing their garden in the spring and hopefully each year thereafter.

Let us teach our children about the nutritional value of locally grown food in a fun, creative and sustainable way. Hands-on gardening will improve children’s interest in learning, encourage them to eat well and develop social skills. Introducing children to gardening instills a lifelong passion for plants and respect for the environment. Gardening promotes physical activity and quality outdoor experiences. It also teaches kids to nurture and care for other living things while developing patience.

The City Challenge for our Children kickoff was a great success!

On Sept. 15, the Natchez chapter of Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute had a sustainable gardening workshop at Duncan Park in Natchez. The kickoff started with lectures from speakers GGSIM Executive Director Daniel Doyle, Rodney Burkley, owner of Church Hill Worm Farm, and Preston Sullivan, soil fertility consultant and owner of Serendipity Farm in Meadville.

We continued the workshop outside by building a raised bed, planting the garden and planting a fruit tree. The workshop helped teach the gardening process and help prepare those interested in taking the challenge.

Churches and schools, sign up now! Join those that have already committed to the city challenge in making a difference in our children’s lives.

Gaining Ground will monitor the church and school gardens during the fall and spring growing process. Cash awards will be awarded to the best school garden and to the best church garden.

We are challenging all teachers, parents, grandparents, church leaders and church members to unite together for this awesome cause — our children. So come on, let’s get creative and have fun!

Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute of Mississippi has grant money available to assist in your garden. This grant money has to be matched and this match can include in-kind donations. Please contact our GGSIM Natchez chapter and let us know how we can assist you in starting your garden.

To join the challenge, call 601-446-8160 or e-mail mjcallon@gmail.com. For more information, visit www.ggsim.org and click on Natchez Chapter.

I would like to thank all those that contributed to making our City Challenge for our Children kickoff such a success.


Mitzi Callon is the chairperson of the Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute of Mississippi Natchez chapter.