[Guest Post] Dr. Jim Kelly Garden Becomes Reality
This is a guest post by Rick Miller, founder and Director of the Central Minnesota Sustainability Project. The project’s mission is to teach the community the value of the environment and economic stability; connecting people with land and providing the supplies and knowledge needed to grow healthful, chemical-free foods.
The dream of a community garden to honor the late Dr. Jim Kelly, an avid gardener and a central figure in the development of CentraCare, is coming into full bloom and will be showcased on Saturday, August 11, between 10:00 AM and 12:00 noon. Kelly Garden, which is located on the south end of the CentraCare Health Plaza campus, will be part of a state wide “Gardening Matters” network of garden tours on that day.
The forty-six plot community garden was the dream of Dr. Tom Leither who was mentored by Dr. Kelly. With the support of the CentraCare Health Foundation, which provided construction and development funding, Dr. Angie Ausban and Dr. Kevin Smith who have provided immeasurable support in numerous ways, and in collaboration with the Central Minnesota Sustainability Project which landscapes and manages the garden, Kelly Garden was constructed in 2010. Despite some water retention problems in the early going, supporters have persevered and the garden today is alive with the pulse of natural and human diversity.
Community Gardens are growing in popularity across the Nation. They provide an opportunity for people to connect with their roots in nature and in the human community. They also provide an opportunity for people to become aware of how healthy food and healthy lifestyles affect human health. Dr. David Kroska has become an ardent supporter of Kelly Garden which fits “hand in glove” with his mission at the CentraCare Clinics “L.I.F.E.” Program. Dr. Kroska, recipient of the 2012 Sustainability Award given annually by the Joint Planning District Sustainability Committee, has long been committed to exposing the link between human health and healthy food and lifestyles.
Best of all, Dr. Jim Kelly’s family has embraced and become strong supporters of Kelly Garden. Dr. Kelly’s widow, June Kelly, will be on site at 10:00 AM August 11, for the dedication of Dr. Jim Kelly Garden. June Kelly, well known in St. Cloud for her many years of community activism, exemplifies the spirit of Dr. Jim Kelly Garden through her lifelong support for good in our community.
You are invited to honor Dr. Jim and June Kelly at 10:00 AM on August 11 at Dr. Jim Kelly Garden at CentraCare Health Plaza.
By: Rick Miller, Co-Founder
Central Minnesota Sustainability Project