High Springs farmers market

Former PPS Diversifying Farmers Market grantee, the City of High Springs, was a recent winner of the Excellence Award for Sustainability from the Florida City and County Management Association. The city, which was awarded PPS funding in 2007 for its weekly farmers market, was honored for their community garden program, which was an integral part of the PPS grant project.

Preparing a community garden in High Springs

The High Springs Farmers Market had a strong Placemaking component to their project. Located in a James Paul Park, the market sought to use some of their PPS grant funding to revitalize the market by redeveloping the centrally-located park, as well as starting a community garden project to help increase the city’s access to fresh, healthy food. Over the course of the grant the city was able to start several new gardens in the park, as well as one in a neighboring low-income area.

Community members come together to plant a garden

Community members come together to plant a garden

Since the end of 2007, the community gardens project has expanded to 55 plots tended by 26 gardeners, according to Lys Burden, coordinator of the Community Garden Program. Lys, wife of Dan Burden a noted PPS Placemaker, works with master gardeners and community members to grow produce in a sustainable manner which is eaten by the gardeners or sold at the market. The project is a great example of how small, innovate efforts can make a big difference, as former High Springs Farmers Market Manager Sharon Yeago said, the grant has become “the gift that keeps on giving” for her city.

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