$20K grant awarded to Center for sustainability and Keep Bulloch Beautiful

Alanna Navin

Keep Bulloch Beautiful and Georgia Southern University’s Center for Sustainability received a $20,000 grant to support sustainability education efforts in the community.

The Lowe’s/Keep Bulloch Beautiful Community Improvement Project Narrative awarded the grant.

The grant will provide funding to further the development of five elementary school gardens in Bulloch County through a partnership between Keep Bulloch Beautiful, Statesboro Bulloch County Parks and Recreation After-School Program, GSU’s Center for Sustainability, College of Science and Mathematics and College of Health & Human Sciences, according to a news release.

“We are truly grateful to Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation for its support and leadership that is being demonstrated in community sustainability,” Matt McKenna, Keep America Beautiful president, said in a news release.

“We have a ten-week program. The first six weeks are focused on agriculture, biology of plants and basically growing the seed to the point where it is producing something,” Dr. Lissa Leege, biology professor and the director for the Center of Sustainability, said.

The last four weeks of the program are focused on the nutrition aspects, helping the children to make healthy eating choices and teaching them about good nutrition in a fun interactive setting, Leege said.

The program combines children in the school system and the after school program with the student volunteers from GSU, Leege said.

“We have a great group of students from biology-related and sustainability-related disciplines who have been involved. Another great group of students from nutrition related fields have been involved,” Leege said.

GSU students interested in participating in the program are welcome to join the efforts.

“Any (GSU) students who want to can participate in this program. In fact now that we will have five different sites where we are running the program, we will want more students to participate,” Leege said.

This program is effective in influencing children and their families into making healthier and more sustainable choices, Leege said.

“Keep America Beautiful is proud of the positive impact that Keep Bulloch Beautiful’s project will have in Bulloch County,” McKenna said in a news release.

Leege said, “My children have been involved in the program this year. My six-year-old has been coming home talking about whole grains and the importance of fiber in his diet, all because he has been attending this garden program.”