INDIANAPOLIS – In an effort to combat childhood obesity among Indy’s children, Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, in partnership with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. (KIB) and Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) will begin construction on 10 school gardens this week. This sustainable Riley School Gardens program will involve children in growing, harvesting, and preparing seasonal produce, ensure access to nutritious food, and create a living learning environment for students.
Hundreds of students have already received education on planting and maintaining garden crops, as well as the health benefits of a nutritious diet and growing their own foods from KIB. Parents have also been encouraged to participate, as these gardens will serve as a valuable nutrition education tool and a fresh food resource for IPS students, their families and the surrounding community. Students will being planting all 10 gardens the week of May 9-13.
Scheduled school plantings include:
9:30 AM – 11:30 AM IPS 93 George H. Fisher; 7151 E. 35th St., 46226
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM IPS 43 James Whitcomb Riley; 150 W. 40th St., 46208
7:30 AM – 9:00 AM IPS 572 Emma Donnan; 1202 E. Troy Ave., 46203
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM IPS 88 Anna Brochhausen; 5801 East 16th Street, 46218
9:30 AM – 11:30 AM IPS 49 William Penn; 1720 W. Wilkins, 46221
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM IPS 42 Elder Diggs; 1002 W. 25th St., 46208
9:30 AM – 11:30 AM IPS 106 Robert Lee Frost; 5301 Roxbury Road, 46226
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM IPS 27 (CFI 3); 545 E. 19th St., 46202
9:30 AM – 11:30 AM IPS 55 Eliza A. Blaker; 1349 E. 54th St., 46220
12:15 PM – 3:30 PM IPS 96 Meredith Nicholson; 3651 N. Kiel Ave., 46224
Just 16 percent of adolescents eat the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. A common obstacle is inadequate local access to fresh produce.
“One widely accepted strategy to combat childhood obesity is to increase access of locally grown and farm-grown fruits and vegetables to communities,” said Dr. Jeff Sperring, chief medical officer for Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. “Riley School Gardens will serve as a valuable nutrition education tool and a fresh food resource for IPS students, their families and the surrounding community.”
With nearly 30 percent of Hoosier adolescents classified as overweight or obese, the Riley School Gardens program is part of IU Health’s statewide, comprehensive initiative to fight the obesity epidemic by improving access to healthy foods and safe places for physical activity in high-poverty neighborhoods.
“Urban gardening is a key factor in creating a sustainable culture that values neighborhood involvement, and cultivates an ethic of service and healthier eating habits,” said David Forsell, president of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. “Our mission as an organization is to keep the city beautiful and vibrant through environmental improvement. This program will add to that vision and help to keep its youth healthy.”
About Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health
For more than 85 years, Riley at IU Health has been one of the nation’s leading children’s hospitals. Each year, Riley at IU Health provides compassionate care, support and comfort to 215,000 inpatients and outpatients from across Indiana, the nation and the world. Part of Indiana University Health, our unique partnership with the Indiana University School of Medicine gives our highly skilled physicians access to innovative treatments using the latest research and technology. Discover the strength at rileyhospital.org.
About Indianapolis Public Schools
Indianapolis Public Schools is Indiana’s largest school district with more than 32,000 students in 64 schools. IPS offers more educational choices than any other Indiana school district. Learn more about IPS at www.ips.k12.in.us.
About Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc.
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization uniting people to build community and transform public spaces through aesthetic and environmental improvement. In 2010, KIB worked with nearly 40,000 volunteers on 600 community projects. To learn more, please visitwww.kibi.org.