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Community Garden Part of Local Healthy Communities Competition Strategy

Tom Flanigan

Fifty American cities, including Tallahassee, are now competing in the "Healthiest Cities Challenge". Part of the community's winning strategy is to literally grow the number of neighborhood and backyard gardens.

The local challenge kickoff was at the I-Grow community garden on East Orange Avenue. Bakari McLendon is the program's director.

"It's really about making changes in our community where we can as it pertains to healthy food," he said.

Lots of health advocates were there, like Lea Miles from the Florida Department of Health in Leon County.

"I'm just here to offer my support for the wonderful organizations that have come really to educate the youth about healthy eating habits and how to grow their own food," she said.

Also on hand was Kathrena Regnier, an FSU Urban and Regional Planning and Public Health grad student.

"This is what we hope is a driver to get people to change their behavior to more health oriented things," she said.

She saw this as a model for similar projects in other neighborhoods, especially in low income areas.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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