Local Girl Scout Grace Warner isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty for a good cause. She is leading the effort to create a community garden at the Down East Partnership for Children’s Discovery Park. The garden is the result of her Girl Scout Gold Award project and brought local parents and children as well as other community members along with local farmer Travis Boulden to create a “pick, taste and learn garden.”

“The reason I chose the Down East Partnership is because it’s a great organization to be a part of and they needed someone in the community to kick start the Discovery Park Garden,” Warner said. “The reason I chose this project is because it’s something that interests me and it’s something I like to do (gardening). Kids and their families will be able to come down to the garden and take care of it, pick from it, taste from it, and learn from it, so hopefully from there it will spark a sense of responsibility and ownership. They’ll also learn about healthy eating, and if they help grow the plants, then they’ll be more likely to want eat the healthy foods, too.”

Down East Partnership officials said they want to thank Grace for organizing this effort and also the many community partners that are making this a reality. Allen’s Nursery donated the plants and Travis Boulden donated his time to guide the planting process.

“We are inspired by Grace’s commitment to this project and her willingness to reach out to the residents in the neighborhood for input,” said Henrietta Zalkind, DEPC executive director. “Housing a place for our youngest learners to pick, taste, and learn about healthy foods alongside a fantastic play space will ultimately improve the overall experience for children and families visiting the park.

“Grace saw a need and has been willing to do whatever it takes to make sure this garden happens. Most teens her age would find it difficult making phone calls to unknown adults, leading a meeting, or asking for plant donations, not Grace.

She does not intimidate easily and the families in the neighborhood will benefit from it.”

The Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, recognizing girls who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through remarkable Take Action projects that have sustainable impact in their communities-and beyond. Discovery Garden will also benefit from the Milton and Miles 10 percent Back Campaign on the fourth Sunday in June, July and August. Ten percent of sales will go toward sustaining the garden.

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To see this article in the Rocky Mount Telegram, click here.