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USDA Supports Towson University-Cherry Hill People?s Garden

USDA People's Garden Logo
USDA People's Garden Logo

November 16, 2011 (Towson, Md.): Nadine Braunstein, director of the Allied Health program here at Towson University, has successfully secured a $60,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Nadine piloted the development of a winning grant proposal, which was shaped with contributions from the residents and community organizations within Cherry Hill. Also of invaluable assistance were members of the Baltimore City government and various Towson University faculty members, including Sonia Lawson of the Department of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science and Jessica Ring of the Department of Art. This grant will fund the establishment of a People?s Garden initiative in the Baltimore neighborhood of Cherry Hill. The development and maintenance of school and community gardens will provide for residents access to healthy, nutrient-rich food as well as offer significant educational opportunities for all members of the community regarding urban agriculture and best dietary practices. Such educational topics will include horticulture, environmental science, sustainable gardening practices, ergonomic gardening, nutrition, and the preparation of healthy meals involving produce planted and cultivated in Cherry Hill.

The sustainability of this project will be assured by the distribution of 75% of the awarded funds as micro-sub grants to various organizations and groups partnering together to develop the Cherry Hill gardens. To ensure that these efforts garner the public attention so crucial to success, a number of prominent officials have endeavored to bring attention to Cherry Hill. The Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Dr. Kathleen Merrigan, came to the Eat Healthy Live Healthy Urban Garden on November 10 to make a national announcement of the People?s Garden Grant Program. Dr. Terry Cooney delivered remarks on behalf of Towson University to demonstrate the deep bond between the campus community and the residents of Cherry Hill.

It is anticipated that this project will result in the establishment of multiple school and community gardens throughout the neighborhood so that as many residents as possible can benefit from the new influx of nutritious foods, the educational opportunities, and the overall aesthetic appeal to be introduced via urban agriculture. Nadine Braunstein?s years as a Registered Dietician, academic training, and hands-on experience will prove invaluable to this burgeoning enterprise, as will Towson University?s strong record of grants management which will allow this Grant to be handled in accordance with federally-established guidelines.

The entire project is representative of the collective desire of many Baltimoreans and regional organizations to effect a positive change in the quality of living for Cherry Hill?s current residents and its future generations. The unwavering dedication of the project?s participants combined with the generous funding provided by the USDA will go a long way toward attaining the project goal of fostering a greater standard of health and happiness within the city. Dr. Braunstein?s passion and expertise will no doubt serve to guide and nurture this Peoples? Garden initiative and to ensure that the greatest possible benefit is reaped from the sustained efforts of all persons and parties involved.

Office of Sponsored Programs & Research
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Phone: 410-704-2236
Fax: 410-704-4494
E-mail: ospr@towson.edu

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