The Suffolk County Food Policy Council, Sustainable Long Island and Stony Brook University Family Medicine have put together a new website for establishing and sustaining community gardens as an educational tool and a way to help Long Islanders eat healthy.
The Long Island Community Gardens website, at longislandcommunitygardens.org, provides a locator for existing community gardens plus resources on starting a garden from scratch. On the East End, there are community gardens at the Shinnecock Indian Reservation, at Hampton Bays Middle School, in Montauk, Riverhead, Southold and New Suffolk.
The website can help pick a proper location and ready the soil for a successful garden, and a calendar lists ideal planting times plus gardening events and lectures.
“This newly launched website will be an invaluable resource to anyone seeking to learn more about community gardens,” Erin Thoresen, the senior program coordinator at Sustainable Long Island and chair of the Suffolk County Food Policy Council’s Food Equity Subcommittee, said in a statement. “Not only will it provide information on how to create and maintain your own garden, but it will offer ideas on expanding access to healthy, affordable food options. In creating this resource, our hope is that it will inspire the public to get outdoors more and improve their physical health by taking part in related activities, such as digging, building, planting, and more.”
The website, which was funded in part by a Bank of America grant, was created by four dietetic interns and will continue to be updated by future Sustainable Long Island interns.
“Community gardens are a fantastic way to promote healthy eating, build community awareness, and to educate adults and children alike about agricultural and environmental stewardship,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in a statement. “This website provides our citizens with the information and tools they require to seed and grow community gardens across Long Island.