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Fulton Community Garden Looking to Take Root

FULTON, NY – Six years ago the Nutrition Collaboration of Oswego County launched the Community Garden Project.

Members of the Nutrition Collaboration of Oswego County meet in preparation for the Fulton Community Garden Project. Seated from left are Alexis Robinson and Lauren Whipple of Cornell Cooperative Extension. Standing from left are Cheryl Maxfield and Lori Halstead of OCO Nutrition Services.
Members of the Nutrition Collaboration of Oswego County meet in preparation for the Fulton Community Garden Project. Seated from left are Alexis Robinson and Lauren Whipple of Cornell Cooperative Extension. Standing from left are Cheryl Maxfield and Lori Halstead of OCO Nutrition Services.

The project is aimed at encouraging healthy eating and offering Fulton residents the opportunity to tend their own garden and enjoy a variety of fresh vegetables.

With the growing season fast approaching Nutrition Collaboration will soon be preparing the garden for planting.

“This is the sixth year for our Community Garden Project and we are looking to increase participation of both community members and sponsors,” said Oswego County Opportunities coordinator of Nutrition Services Lori Halstead. “We will have a number of garden beds available and will provide the seeds for those interested in planting, tending and harvesting their favorite vegetables. For those who have never tended a garden before this is a great time to start as members of Cornell Cooperative Extension will provide the knowledge and support needed to produce a successful garden. Participants have found it very rewarding to know they will be enjoying fresh vegetables and herbs grown and harvested from their own garden!”

In addition to support from Cornell Cooperative Extension participants will receive a $20 Lowe’s Home Improvement gift card per garden bed to purchase gardening supplies such as hoes, rakes, gloves, etc.

On May 18 members of the Nutrition Collaboration invite community members interested in participating in the Community Garden Project to join them at John Lincoln Park on Gilbert Street in Fulton at 9 a.m. as they clean up the garden beds.

Staff from OCO Nutrition Services, members of the Oswego County Nutrition Collaboration, and volunteers from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Oswego County Department of Health and Cornell Cooperative Extension will work alongside community members as they prepare the vegetable beds for planting.

This year’s Community Garden Project is being supported and funded by the Rural Health Network of Oswego County, other sponsors include the Food Bank Of CNY, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, city of Fulton -Department of Parks and Recreation, United Way of Greater Oswego County, Oswego County Department of Social Services, the Fulton Housing Authority, Oswego County Department of Health and OCO Nutrition Services.

“When we established the Fulton Community Garden, our vision was to create a sustainable project,” said Halstead. “To achieve that we are looking for groups or organizations in the Fulton area interested in working with us and taking the lead on the planning and logistics of cleanup day, garden bed assignments, overseeing the growing season, and help procure funding. The collaboration will be available to assist with questions and provide additional funding.”

Halstead added that those looking for more information about the Community Garden Project may attend the Spring into Health Fair May 12 from noon to 4 p.m.

Hosted by United Health Care, the event will be held at John Lincoln Park, Gilbert Street in Fulton.

Christine Parks of OCO Nutrition Services will be there to answer questions regarding the Community Garden Project and what to expect as a participant.

Fulton city residents interested in participating in the Community Garden Project may do so by picking up an application from the Fulton Housing Authority, 1100 Emery St. in Fulton or by visiting www.oco.org, Health and Nutrition Services.

Return the completed application to the Fulton Housing Authority or mail to: OCO Nutrition Services, 239 Oneida St, Fulton, NY 13069. Attention: Community Garden

Applications can also be taken over the phone by calling the OCO Nutrition Services office at 315-598-4712 or via email at [email protected]

As space is limited, a completed application does not guarantee a garden bed.

The Nutrition Collaboration will utilize a lottery system in the event that the requests outnumber the amount of garden beds available.

OCO is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966.

A member agency of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, OCO provides more than 50 vital services throughout 100 separate locations.

For more information, visit www.oco.org.

Did you know? It’s OCO!