Growing hope: SafeHouse enters contest to fund garden

If they win the contest, SafeHouse Executive Director Erin Bodden plans to use some of the funds for fruit trees to shade a recently constructed playground. (Contributed)

If they win the contest, SafeHouse Executive Director Erin Bodden plans to use some of the funds for fruit trees to shade a recently constructed playground. (Contributed)

By GINNY COOPER MCCARLEY / Staff Writer

SafeHouse residents have enjoyed tending the small flower garden recently installed at the shelter, and SafeHouse staff members hope to provide even more outdoor opportunities through a contest hosted by Nature’s Path Gardens for Good program.

“It’s a great way to continue on with providing that outdoor experience for clients and their children,” Executive Director Erin Bodden said.

SafeHouse of Shelby County provides residence for victims of domestic and sexual abuse and their children and offers service to families overcoming the physical and emotional effects of violence.

For many of the families, gardening can be very therapeutic, Bodden said. In addition, the shelter plans to use the fruits and vegetables to supplement their nutrition program, and donate any extra produce to local food banks.

“That gives them the opportunity to give back to others,” Bodden said.

If they win the contest, the shelter would use the funds to build raised vegetable gardens, buy gardening supplies and vegetable plants and purchase fruit trees to shade a playground that was recently installed at the shelter.

In addition, the shelter plans to establish a Growing Hope program, which would incorporate meal planning and nutritional information about the produce grown at the shelter.

“I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to make this happen,” Bodden said.

To vote for SafeHouse of Shelby County, visit http://bit.ly/1np7ncU.