First Lady launches Let’s Grow

Published 10:54 pm Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The First Lady Michelle Obama is encouraging other first ladies around the country, like Jeannie Evans — wife of Selma Mayor George Evans — to participate in her “Let’s Move” campaign to cut down on obesity rates and poor health among citizens in the nation.

At Tuesday’s Selma City Council meeting, Mrs. Evans announced to those in the community that she would be implementing the second phase of Let’s Move in the city of Selma, which is to focus on eating nutritional and less processed foods.

Evans will be holding a community gardening program.

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“We just need people to come and help us because later on, when it becomes harvest season, we are really going to need some help,” Evans said. “I am anticipating having wonderful, big, huge collard greens and tomatoes and green beans — healthy foods for our community.”

Her goal, she said, is to introduce at least one garden into every ward throughout the city. She wants to make sure children in Selma grow into healthy adults.

The Let’s Move Selma Community Garden will be run by the Let’s Move Selma Committee, which was created several years ago.

The committee, since it began has worked to introduce more work out friendly parks and play spaces like Ward 4 Councilwoman Angela Benjamin, who worked to bring a walking trail and Kaboom Playground to her ward as part of the initiative.

Evans said this is the second phase or angle to the Let’s Move Selma initiative — focusing more on nutritional food in addition to exercise.

“This is just the next component,” Evans said. “We are trying to develop and start community gardens so that you can have fresh vegetables in your gardens, in your neighborhoods and in your households.”

There will be an informational meeting on Thursday, April 4 at 6 p.m. in the Selma City Hall council chambers, where Evans will see how many in the community are interested in participating. The gardens are in need of tools, volunteers and land for the gardens. The first volunteer in Ward 8 has come forward, offering his own land that the community can garden in. Evans said there are funds in place to help pay for the plants and seeds and so far she has a tiller and some garden tools, “but what we really need is people,” she said.

“They say that the vegetables grow faster on Good Friday,” Evans said, noting the meeting will be next Thursday. “But I believe if we really take care of the plants and de-weed, and all that stuff, then we will get just as fast a growing plant as you would as one planted on Good Friday.”