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April 15, 2011

"Victory Garden" produces fruitful relationships between ULM students/vets

Health studies students at the University of Louisiana at Monroe planted a garden at the Northeast Louisiana Veterans' Home and learned that working together not only cultivates vegetables, but also lasting relationships.

The students were part of what Dr. Paula Griswold terms a "service learning project," funded with a grant from CABLE (Communities Acting to Benefit Louisiana's Elderly).

Students planted the garden and visited with veterans while covering different subjects within Griswold's course in the Health Studies Department.

The interaction between the students and the veterans helped facilitate a better knowledge of nutrition, the environment, senior health and social needs within the community, according to Griswold.

The veterans will maintain the growth and harvesting of the garden.

Dirk Rhodes, a student participant from Vinton, relished the opportunity to participate.

"Lately, the push in the economy has been living a healthy life by eating right, so when asked to participate in planting a garden for the veterans it was an honor," said Rhodes.

"Working along with Dr. Griswold and my peers planting a "Victory Garden" for the Veterans Home, was a rich experience…I look forward to continually working with them in their garden."

Lacy Hutchins of Harrisonburg agreed with Rhodes' assessment of the experience.

"Doing this victory garden was a wonderful experience," she said. "All of the residents seemed like they truly enjoyed us being there and I am very thankful we could help them."

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