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By Eddie Fitzgerald, Sun Journal Staff Published: Friday, March 28, 2014 at 19:31 PM. A dream that started two years to benefit homeless and disabled veterans became a reality Friday with the ground breaking of a special garden in the Duffyfield community. About 70 people watched the dedication of the Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden at a ceremony between Stanley White Recreation Center and Henderson Park. Lovay Wallace-Singleton, a 20 year air traffic controller for the U.S. Navy and a disabled veteran, presented the proposal of the veterans garden to aldermen this past summer and everyone at the ceremony said it was her persistence and dedication that turned the idea into reality. Singleton told those gathered that the garden would not only impact the lives of homeless and disable veterans but all Craven County citizens. The purpose of the Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden, Singleton said before the dedication, will be to decrease the veteran homeless population in Craven County, the quality of life for disabled veterans and to increase organic produce in the county. Mayor Dana Outlaw, whose father and grandfather were war veterans, said he loved gardens, wellness, healthiness and a vibrant New Bern. “This started out as a vision and it is fixing to come to fruition,” Outlaw said. Outlaw mentioned a recent article about how New Bern has outgrown cities across the country in wealth But not in health, or spreading the wealth, he said. Janice Allen, with the N.C. Coastal Land Trust, said Singleton approached the N.C. Coastal Land Trust two years ago looking for land where she could place the veteran’s garden. A plot of land was found near Havelock but Singleton wanted something closer to New Bern. So the Henderson Park area was chosen. On Dec. 12 the N.C. Coastal Land Trust board of directors voted to become the fiscal sponsors of the Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden until it was officially recognized as a nonprofit. “Well, I’m pleased to announce the veteran’s garden has achieve its 503(c)3 status,” Allen said. “So you are on your way.” Thurman Hardison, director of New Bern parks and recreation, said produce gardens in municipal parks are not new but New Bern was now stepping up to the plate as it hasn’t before. “This is for the veterans but also for the community,” Hardison said. Singleton said when she was thinking of how she could help homeless and disabled veterans, she learned how important gardening was from the Monarch Community Garden while volunteering there. Eileen Bress, of Monarch Community Garden, beside CarolinaEast Medical Center, said working in gardens has a therapeutic effect on people, from teaching about healthier lifestyles, to enhancing communication, social skills, confidence and well being, to teaching the importance of healthy nutrition and how to become better stewards of nature. Nicole Sanchez, with the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, said locally grown organic produce is in demand. Throughout the past three years sales of produce has been flat. But during that same time locally grown organic produce sales have grown, she said. “The project has the potential to do great things for New Bern,” Sanchez said. Richard Totino, district commander of American Legion Post 539, said the post fully supports the veterans garden. “I think this is great,” he said. “...It’s a good way for the community to reach out to veterans.” Patricia Harris, the first woman state commander of the N.C. American Legion, spoke of the veterans the garden is meant to help, using it from seed to harvest as an analogy of their sacrifices, struggles and survival. Harris also presented a flag for the garden that was flown over the U.S. Capitol and signed by U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield. U.S. Sen. Richard Burr and Butterfield also sent letters supporting the garden and Singleton’s dedication to it. So far the veterans garden has collected $26,000 in startup funds, Singleton said.

Welcome

 Veterans Stand-down Invitation

 

Stand Down date: June 10, 2014

 

0800-1300

Rain Date: June 17, 2014

What is a veterans stand-down: The original Stand Down for homeless veterans was modeled after the Stand Down concept used during the Vietnam War to provide a safe retreat for units returning from combat operations. At secure base camp areas, troops were able to take care of personal hygiene, get clean uniforms, enjoy warm meals, receive medical and dental care, mail and receive letters, and enjoy the camaraderie of friends in a safe environment. Stand Down afforded battle-weary soldiers the opportunity to renew their spirit, health and overall sense of well-being.

 

Stand Downs are intended to be collaborative, grassroots events coordinated between local VA's, other government agencies, and community agencies which serve homeless Veterans. In addition to this coordination role, staff from local VA facilities typically provide volunteer support for local Stand Downs particularly in health screening, triage and services, mental health assessments and referrals, and increasingly, screening and referrals for housing placements.

 

 

Questions, please contact lovay@veteransorganicgarden.com, reeshema.walker@nccommerce.com, richard.hansen@nccommerce.com

 

Location forVeterans Stand Down

Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden:

 

901 Chapman St.

New Bern, NC 28562

 

Stanley White Recreation Center Complex

 

Mailing address: 419 Conner Grant Rd.

 

New Bern, NC 28562

 




 

We’re on a quest to grow a healthier community and need your support! Visit www.seedsofchangegrant.com or the Seeds of Change® Facebook page, “LIKE” the page and vote! To find our application, enter our zip code, 28562, or garden name,Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden! Only the top 50 organizations move on. You can vote once per day until April 21. Click www.seedsofchangegrant.com for Program Guidelines.

http://www.newbernsj.com/news/local/garden-dedicated-to-helping-homeless-and-disabled-veterans-1.297790?tc=cr Veterans Garden Groundbreaking Ceremony

A dream that started two years to benefit homeless and disabled veterans became a reality Friday with the ground breaking of a special garden in the Duffyfield community.

About 70 people watched the dedication of the Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden at a ceremony between Stanley White Recreation Center and Henderson Park.

Lovay Wallace-Singleton, a 20 year air traffic controller for the U.S. Navy and a disabled veteran, presented the proposal of the veterans garden to aldermen this past summer and everyone at the ceremony said it was her persistence and dedication that turned the idea into reality.

Singleton told those gathered that the garden would not only impact the lives of homeless and disable veterans but all Craven County citizens.

The purpose of the Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden, Singleton said before the dedication, will be to decrease the veteran homeless population in Craven County, the quality of life for disabled veterans and to increase organic produce in the county.

BOARD MEMBERS

Thanks for stopping by. My name is Lovay Wallace-Singleton. Come and join Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden. Volunteer, Donate, Purchase the produce and Have a look around our website and get to know us. If you want to drop us a line, ask a question or volunteer then you can always leave a note in the guestbook.