New adult coloring book showcases Asheville community gardens, showcases local talent, and connects residents to food resources

Reducing stress is part of a healthy lifestyle. Adult coloring books are one of the latest trends to help. Thanks to a collaboration between Asheville Parks and Recreation, area nonprofits and agencies, and local artists, residents can connect with food resources and learn more about community gardens through the beautifully illustrated pages of a new coloring book for adults, In the garden.

“The town of Asheville received a grant from National Association of Recreation and Parks to promote local resources and provide nutrition education and community gardening opportunities, ”said Kim Kennedy, director of the Stephen-Lee Community Center. “We worked with other community organizations on innovative ways to use the grant. The Buncombe County Council on Aging came up with the idea of ​​creating an adult coloring book featuring interpretations of community gardens by artists and storytellers in the Asheville area.

In the garden highlights 10 gardens and provides information on how to volunteer, find food and meal venues, and connect with resources to alleviate food insecurity. Fifteen artists have created pieces to represent garden locations, some of which share a personal story. As such, the artistic styles depicted in the coloring book are varied. Biographies and contact details for each artist are also included.

As places of trusted gathering, parks and recreation agencies are uniquely suited to serve as centers of community wellness, connecting every member of the community to essential programs, services, and spaces that advance equity. health, improve health outcomes and improve quality of life, ”said Maureen Neuman, senior program manager for the National Recreation and Park Association. “We are proud to support the work of Asheville Parks & Recreation as it acts as a community nutrition center, ensuring all members of the community have increased access to fresh, local foods through community gardens, support for SNAP and WIC services and nutrition. educational opportunities.

Asheville Community Gardens are public spaces where neighbors find common ground while demonstrating a commitment to the shared mountain spirit and sustainability. Some volunteer weekly, others volunteer once a year. Typically, food collected is shared among volunteers, with the excess going to local pantries and nonprofits connecting resources to neighbors in need of healthy fruits and vegetables. The NRPA grant has so far been used to create two new gardens, in the East End / Valley Street neighborhood and at the Burton Street Community Center.

Free copies of In the garden are available at Community centers through the city. A PDF of the book and a food resource map are available at www.ashevillenc.gov/parks under the “The well-beingtab “.

Artists contributing to the adult coloring book include Jami Allen, Robyn Baxter, Julie Becker, Annie Kyla Bennett, Hannah Bunzey, Erika Busse, Sam Fontaine, Jina Mendez Martin, Ryan O’Sullivan, Stephanie Peterson Jones, Jenny Pickens, Karine Rupp -Stanko, Elizabeth Somerville, Tricia Tripp and Nicole Leigh Yates. Project collaborators with the City of Asheville include Buncombe County, Bountiful Cities, Buncombe County Council on Aging, MANNA FoodBank, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County and the YMCA of West West North Carolina.

If you are food insecure, connect with resources by dialing 2-1-1 from any phone or by visiting www.nc211.org.

About Asheville Parks and Recreation

Created in 1954, the Asheville Parks and Recreationn Department manages a unique collection of over 55 public parks, playgrounds and open spaces throughout the city in a system that also includes comprehensive recreation centers, swimming pools, Asheville Municipal Golf Course, WNC Nature Center, Riverside Cemetery, athletic fields and courts, and community centers that offer a variety of wellness, educational and cultural programs for Ashevillians of all ages. With 8 miles of paved greenways and numerous natural surface trails, its comprehensive portfolio serves as the basis for a vibrant hub for Asheville residents to connect with their neighbors and explore the natural beauty of a livable town and pedestrian.

Driven by the promise that Asheville is a better, safer place where everyone from infants to retirees has the opportunity to be supported, healthy and successful, Asheville Parks & Recreation was the first municipal service of nationally accredited recreation in the United States. For more information visit www.ashevillenc.org/parcs.

About the National Association of Recreation and Parks

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to building strong, vibrant and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation. With over 60,000 members, NRPA advances this mission by investing in and championing the work of parks and recreation professionals and advocates – the catalysts for positive change in the service of equity, climate readiness. , health and well-being in general. For more information visit www.nrpa.org.

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