Reporter: Ashley Singh l Videographer: Brian Vaughan
Danville, VA - Several community gardens are in the works around Danville. City officials along with other local organizations believe these gardens may help with the obesity rate in the area.
Several groups are in the planning stages of starting a community garden. The hope is that the idea will catch on and spread quickly. Danville Community Gardens promote healthy eating, which is why city officials have decided to start one of their own.
Crossing program director Jacob McCann says while their garden is small, they think they'll be able to make a big difference.
"The idea for the one here is for it to be a model for success for other groups to copy and put in their area," said McCann. "People probably think well, that's not going to help obesity with 12 people gardening at the Crossing. Well, maybe not just with that, but if you think that it gets replicated over and over in several different neighborhoods, eventually it starts to make an impact."
Reverend Delaware Clark of Camp Grove Baptist Church is also starting a community garden program. His hope is to get young people involved, to keep them out of trouble.
"We want to do this to give back to the community, and to help them to actually enjoy nutritious food straight from the garden," he said. "We're trying to do different things here in the community to improve and help them."
Virginia Cooperative Extension agent Stuart Sutphin is helping Clark and other organizations get started. Not only is there a physical benefit, Sutphin says there's a psychological benefit too.
"If you've ever compared fresh picked vegetables with the ones you buy in the store, the taste is infinitely better because when you pick a vegetable, when it's just ripe, it's at its height of sweetness," said Sutphin. "When you get outside you're getting fresh air, you're getting exercise, you're getting sunshine."
If you're interested in learning more about community gardens, you can call the Crossing at 434-797-8961 or Virginia Cooperative Extension 434-799-6558.