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Garden Project Provides Active Living and Healthy Meals

Emporia Presbyterian Manor recently received almost $12,000 from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas as part of the community’s Pathway to a Healthy Kansas grant. The money is to be spent on raised garden beds and all the supplies necessary to provide greater access to healthy eating and active living options.

“One of our residents in independent living had a small garden in the past with a few tomato and pepper plants and it was a topic of conversation at meals and during the season. We extended this area and tilled up the ground so others could plant their favorite crops such as tomatoes being number one, cucumbers, lettuce, green beans, onions radishes, and strawberries; along with many others,” said Courtney Waldner, wellness activities director. “We plan to have the raised garden beds be an ongoing project for many years to come.

Another project in the works is a native grass pollinator/butterfly garden between the bridge area and the Villas. Local horticulturalists and native grass experts are donating their time to assist with making this space as beautiful as it can be for members of the community, staff and residents.

All residents are invited to get involved.

“Residents have a purpose now when they go outside to grow their own foods and be more independent. One resident made half of his apartment a green house itself and grew seedlings and has been monitoring and updating us weekly. Herbs and flowers were planted as an activity in memory care. Other residents are teaming up and offering assistance to those who are not as mobile. It has been a great addition to our activity planning and major benefit for our residents. We try to involve all populations with this grant we were fortunate enough to receive,” said Courtney.

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