Today the Gulfton community in southwest Houston will be home to a new community greenscape as part of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company's and The U.S. Conference of Mayors' nationwide GRO1000 gardens and green spaces program.
The Gulfton neighborhood, where many residents lack access to green spaces or yards, will receive a new nature playground and garden to encourage outdoor learning and support the healthy development of area children and families. This project marks the return of ScottsMiracle-Gro to the Houston area, where the company has previously supported two community and school-based green space initiatives.
GRO1000 is a national program launched by ScottsMiracle-Gro in 2011 to create more than 1,000 community gardens and green spaces in the U.S., Canada and Europe by 2018. The U.S. Conference of Mayors partnered with ScottsMiracle-Gro on the GRO1000 initiative to recognize mayors for the installation of innovative, public green spaces designed to improve our nation's cities. The garden and nature playground at the Gabriela Mistral Center for Early Childhood will support Mayor Parker's "Go Healthy Houston Initiative and Task Force," which is focused on reducing obesity, increasing healthy eating and exercise and promoting urban agriculture since its launch in 2012.
"It's exciting to see the transformational green space projects we are creating all over the city," said Mayor Annise Parker. "From the expansive Buffalo Bayou Park, to the nature playground and garden at Gabriela Mistral Center, every development enhances our city and encourages our citizens to become healthier. What's really cool about this project is that children can learn and have an adventure right in their own community."
The GRO1000 event at the Gabriela Mistral Center for Early Childhood kicks off at 10:30 a.m. on March 22 at 6203 Jasmine Street, Houston, Texas, 77081. More than 150 area children will join local volunteers, including area residents and ScottsMiracle-Gro associates, city officials and GRO1000 national and local partners to install container gardens, fruit trees, compost bins, rain barrels and a playhouse, among other features. Educational gardening and environmental activities will be available for area residents and youth. A group of deserving students will be presented with the ScottsMiracle-Gro Give Back To Gro Youth Gardener Award.
"We are honored to be working with the City of Houston again to bring an educational outdoor green space to the Gulfton community," said Jim Tates, President of the U.S. West Region and Latin America, ScottsMiracle-Gro. "This playscape and garden project will provide local children and their families with a place to gather as a community and also learn about healthy eating, nutrition and the benefits of an active lifestyle."
ScottsMiracle-Gro has supported two other large-scale green space projects in Houston. In 2010, the Westbury Community Garden was established as the first community garden in the Westbury area. And in 2011, a series of wildlife and community gardens was developed at Piney Point Elementary School to provide an outdoor learning setting for students.
GRO1000 Houston was made possible through the combined efforts of local partners, including the City of Houston and Keep Houston Beautiful, along with national partners including, The U.S. Conference of Mayors, ScottsMiracle-Gro, Plant A Row for the Hungry, the National Gardening Association, the Garden Writers Association, and Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The Houston GRO1000 event is one of several public installation events being held in the U.S., Canada and Europe in 2014.