Sheila Estep, Town of Pratt Beautification Circle Community Garden
In a small community nestled in the Kanawha Valley of Pratt, West Virginia, mother of five Sheila Estep is not only busy raising her children, she is also a school nurse, community volunteer, and an avid gardener. Sheila grew up composting, gardening, canning, and preserving and wants to share her love of gardening with children, senior citizens, and everyone in between.
Sheila believes we cannot hope for a better future if our children do not know where real food comes from. Last year she started a school garden at the local elementary school and taught nutrition lessons to students. Many of the seniors in town use to have large gardens but cannot work them anymore. Sheila hopes that a community garden will give them the opportunity to get their hands in the soil again and bring back the love they remember from gardening.
Sheila’s project involves creating a community garden with several raised beds, accessible to seniors and individuals with physical diabilities, where anyone in the community will be able to harvest and enjoy the crops. She has the land to plot the garden and volunteers to shape and care for it. The senior citizen group in town known as the “lunch bunch” will also help with the garden, using the produce to add some healthy variety to their lunches.
Each year, Shelia will supply seeds and plants and plans to have a vegetable soup cook-off as a fundraiser to purchase the tools and materials needed to help sustain the garden.
GRANT AWARD DATE: May 22, 2015