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Contact: Steve Theus, 229-824-4104 ext. 42
Contact: Nancy Petron, 229-824-4104 ext. 21
Contact: Randy Dillard, 229-824-4104 ext. 46
The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site received an Americas' Best Idea Grant from the National Park Foundation to support the "Healthy You, Healthy Community Program" this summer. Funds for this grant were provided by the Ahmanson Foundation, Chapman Hanson Foundation, the Fernandez Pave the Way Foundation and Subaru. Inspired by the Ken Burns' film "The National Parks: America's Best Idea", the program connects diverse, underserved and under-engaged populations throughout the United States with their national parks in innovative and meaningful ways through a variety of environmental, adventure, historical, and other activities.
"The Healthy You,Healthy Community Program" was designed to instill the lessons and values of the past that would inspire, encourage, and influence our youth to create a generation that will be concerned with protecting our resources while engaging in fun and educational activities. By doing so they would successfully connect hard work with making a difference to provide motivation to our youth to stay in school, break the cycle of poverty that tells them they will never escape and become productive members of their communities.
The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site partnered with the Americus/Sumter County Boys and Girls Club for this program in which eighteen (18) of the community's youth were provided with the opportunity to engage with the National Park Service, build self-esteem, unite with their local communities, and become good stewards of the land. During the summer program they visited the park to help plant the garden at the Boyhood Farm and learn about the site and the National Park Service. They continued their work in the garden in the mornings and learned about healthy food choices in the afternoon, what plants grow/produce, and how they grow with visits from the Sumter County Extension Service. They were visited by President Jimmy Carter who spoke to them about his life on the farm and how hard work and dedication was influential on his life.
They continued their work in the garden and learned about composting and helped build a worm bed as part of the interpretive display at the Boyhood Farm. The group made a trip to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in Atlanta, Georgia, for a different perspective on the work of the National Park Service. They harvested many vegetables from the garden and were able to provide them to a local homeless shelter and food bank and also take some home for more healthy food choices on their dinner tables.
The program concluded with a "Food Fest" that featured many of the vegetables that they had grown and harvested from the garden. The community was invited to a meal that was healthy, tasty and served by the program participants. The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site was one of a few parks chosen to receive the grant out of the 402 national parks that provided grant proposals to the National Park Foundation. The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site would like to give special thanks to the following; Friends of Jimmy Carter National Historic Site; Plains Better Hometown; Buffalo Café, Plains; Mimmie's Diner, Plains; Mr. Bill Starr and Ms. Mitzi Parker, Sumter County Extension Service; Global Graphics, Americus; Plains Bed and Breakfast; Plains Community Center; Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Sandy Springs, GA; and Jordan Kiemele, LeCordon Bleu Culinary Chef, Rochester, MN.
The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site looks forward to continuing our partnerships with the Boys and Girls Club and all our local partners.