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College of Menominee Nation Wins $25,000
to Initiate a ‘Gardens for Elders’ Project


The College of Menominee Nation (CMN) has received a $25,000 grant from First Nations Development Institute of Longmont, Colorado. The award will support the efforts of the College's "Gardens for Elders" project.


The gardens project is designed to benefit elders from the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, located on the Menominee Reservation in Keshena, Wisconsin. "Gardens for Elders" is an intergenerational community-based project that focuses on helping elders grow fresh, healthy foods in their own yards with the assistance from youth who are participating in various tribal programs. The College intends to build a sustainable elder food system model that will help ensure elders of access to locally-grown healthy foods by bringing together the various kinds of community resources that are available in most tribal communities.


The local project's aims are to development of sustainable partnerships with other core community agencies that support the "Gardens for Elders" concept and to construct, plant and maintain approximately 10 raised garden beds for community elders. Its intergenerational component will be realized through the participation of 10 or more Menominee youth in various aspects of the Gardens for Elders program. CMN President Verna Fowler calls the gardens project, "a simple and highly-achievable project for providing healthy food choices to elders. We hope to see it become a long-term resource that not only serves the initial participants, but also encourages others within our community to return to the small, edible garden traditions that helped sustain families in the past."


Information on the grant-funded project is available from John Teller, associate dean, CMN Department of Continuing Education, (715) 799-6226, ext. 3115.