Bountiful Spirit Garden

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UF/IFAS Extension and Bok Tower Gardens have teamed up to help communities, schools and families discover the amazing benefits of gardening. Environmental responsibility and leading healthier lives are at the heart of our Garden programs. The partnership provides educational and technical assistance to those interested in making a difference within their community. The mission of this partnership is to enhance communities through experiential education that promotes healthy living, enriches culture and conserves natural resources, and that is exactly what we are doing here in the Lake Wales community.

Gardening is a good way for children to learn patience. The thing about gardening is that you realize you can’t rush things. A seed takes a certain amount of time to sprout, no matter what you do. A plant or tree takes a certain amount of time to grow, flower or bear fruit, no matter what you do. No amount of chemicals or technology can make it go faster. Gardening also provides chances for lessons about science, nature, nutrition, even cooking and preserving food. In addition, children gain a wonderful feeling of accomplishment when they harvest food they helped grow.

With a strong vision and well researched garden plan for Allen Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church Community Garden, construction for the garden in underway. The garden committee, as well as members and enthusiastic volunteers, voted and decided on a name for their new garden — Bountiful Spirit Garden. The committee members are a group of dedicated and passionate individuals looking to share their personal gardening experiences with their community. Their confidence in the success of this garden is infectious. After talking with the committee members, you cannot help but want to be a part of this community garden working to better the lives of those around them.

Community gardens are fun places where people from all cultures, backgrounds and ages connect to learn from each other to grow healthy, nutritious food and ornamental plants. Being part of a community garden is a great way to get to know your neighborhood, connect to the food you eat, and learn about the Florida environment.

If you are interested in joining or learning more about community gardening in Polk County, please contact Susan Webb, Community Garden Extension Agent, at 863-455-5282 or