Boosting Benton Harbor: More community gardens sprouting

Local gardener Emma Kinnard's movement to beautify the city of Benton Harbor, and teach kids about healthy eating, is spreading. 

Kinnard started with a community garden on Pearl and May street. Now she's helping more gardens grow in the city.

Abundant Life church now has a garden to call their own thanks to Kinnard's efforts. There is also one in development on Ohio street. 

Her goal in all of this has been to teach kids valuable life skills and healthy eating through horticulture. And now Lakeland hospital has taken notice. They recognize this as a healthy initiative, and are in the early stages of spreading this concept out to St. Joseph and Niles. 

"The gardens is a good source of fresh vegetables," said Kinnard. "Teaching them more on how to eat healthier food. More organic. Less sodium. Things of that sort."

Benton Harbor city leaders say these community gardens bring great value to their neighborhoods.

 "All these streets used to be some of the most beautiful streets in the entire county," said Bryan Tutton of the Benton Harbor Redevelopment commission. "Now we can take those lots, turn them into something beautiful. Take the remaining homes that are in fairly good shape, reconstruct them and turn them into beautiful homes again and turn the neighborhoods into beautiful neighborhoods again."

Emma Kinnard's original garden, Fresh Start, works with kids on the weekends this summer.

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