January 13, 2023

Community garden nurtures families with fresh produce grown by Wayne Pediatrics and WSU faculty, staff and students

Wayne State University medical students help build raised beds in the garden.

The Wayne Pediatrics and Horizons Project Courtyard Youth Gardens at 400 Mack Ave. in Detroit, and members of surrounding communities, got a boost of good nutrition in 2022 thanks to a GroMoreGood Grassroots Grant to Wayne State University’s The Horizons Project.

The grant, provided by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and KidsGardening.com, supported the practice’s onsite community garden project, offering pesticide-free vegetables at no cost to patients and families. 

Wayne State University School of Medicine and Wayne Pediatrics clinicians and staff handed out more bags of garden-grown produce to young patients and their families, including Horizons Project patients. 

A recipient shows off a bag full of fresh produce.

The clinic also formed partnerships with the Eastern Market-area farming group Keep Growing Detroit, and the WSU School of Medicine’s Medical Student Garden student organization.

The garden efforts were led by Wayne State University Professor of Pediatrics Eric McGrath, M.D., a founding member and director of Wayne Pediatrics.

“As the grant winner from GroMoreGood and the lead gardener for our Wayne Pediatrics and Horizons Project Courtyard Youth Gardens, I was overjoyed to have the support of Wayne State University, its Medical Students Garden Group and our Wayne Pediatrics clinical staff, and to be able to address the social determinants of health, of food insecurity and childhood/young adult nutrition by providing bags full of fresh vegetables for more than 20 patients and their families from within the clinic population in Detroit,” Dr. McGrath said.

The GroMoreGood grant provided funding for three garden beds, including two raised beds built by WSU medical students, and soil and mulch for all seven beds. The grant also funded five family memberships to Keep Growing Detroit, and potted herb plants for families.

“Overall, the grant helped build on our success from the first year of the Wayne Pediatrics and Horizons Project Courtyard Youth Gardens project and expand the program. Next year, we plan to provide additional nutrition and educational materials for our clinic patients and their families based on building some initial interest in the program this year,” Dr. McGrath said.

Children and families also received potted herbs from the garden.


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