Springfield Urban Agriculture Coalition announces Dig In R-Twelve (DIRT) Project Garden Awards

Project aims to address increasing obesity rates in Missouri

January 26, 2011       

Springfield, MO, January 26, 2011—Springfield Urban Agriculture Coalition has awarded ten Springfield R-12 schools with DIRT Project Gardens. The Dig In R-Twelve (DIRT) Project will plan and install the ten school gardens and, in collaboration with the Drury School of Education, will also provide and teach curriculum to address core state education standards and use the gardens to complement classroom learning by teaching healthy habits in a fun, active, hands-on environment.

The ten awarded schools include: Glendale High School; Delaware Elementary; Weller Elementary; McGregor Elementary; David Harrison Elementary; Eugene Field Elementary; York Elementary; Rountree Elementary; Jarrett Middle School and the Midtown School Garden, a DIRT pilot project utilized by Boyd elementary and Pipkin Middle School.

Garden design, planning and installation will begin immediately for Glendale, Delaware, Weller, McGregor and Midtown School Garden. The five remaining gardens will be installed for the 2011-2012 school year.

The DIRT Project aims to address increasing obesity rates in Missouri. It will promote healthy, active lifestyles by providing education to the community and the school children about the benefits of growing and using sustainably produced, locally grown food.

The DIRT Project will collaborate with several Springfield organizations including Springfield R-XII Public School District; the YMCA; Childhood Obesity Action Group (COAG), Slow Food Southwest Missouri, CoxHealth, Community Partnership's Caring Communities Initiative and Drury University.

Springfield Urban Agriculture Coalition (SUAC) promotes healthy lifestyles and environments through hands-on education about production and consumption of locally-produced, natural, healthy foods.

Funding for this project was provided in whole by the Missouri Foundation for Health. The Missouri Foundation for Health is a philanthropic organization whose vision is to improve the health of the people in the communities it serves.

Visit springfielduac.org to learn more or help with additional materials, signage for gardens, fruit trees, and shrubs. Donations are welcome!

Springfield Urban Agriculture Coalition
Name: Lucy Howell, Melissa Millsap
Phone: (417) 873-6343
Email: lucy@springfielduac.org; mel@urbanrootsfarm.com