By David Lindenmuth
MAHANOY CITY - "We want to put 'Farm' in 'Pharmacy'" Jeanne Elberfeld of Healthy Mahanoy said during Mahanoy City's borough council meeting Tuesday evening.
As part of the group's initiative to improve the health of the region, it was awarded a grant to begin Phase One of a community garden project at 5th and Center Streets in the borough, renting plots out to residents for $5 per growing season. Phase One involves the construction of fourteen garden plots, and the garden will consist of thirty-five plots when the entire project is complete.
The group will host a free, public "Gardening 101" event on May 23 at 6:30pm with a Penn State Master Gardener.
"Learn about gardening. Even if you have no interest in renting a plot, come out and learn about it. We want to put 'farm' in 'pharmacy'. We don't want to keep taking meds, we don't want to be ill. We want to stay healthy." Elberfeld said.
Elberfeld noted that, according to health reports, Schuylkill County is the 64th healthiest county of Pennsylvania's 67 counties.
Construction of the garden will begin on June 10, and volunteer help is requested.
"We're hoping to get residents out to build... We need manpower, womanpower to come out and put these together, so I'm asking all to consider coming out and doing this with us. It's a great effort. Gardening is great for your mind, body, and soul." Elberfeld added.
The group is partnering with Healthy Shenandoah to host a walking challenge between the two boroughs. Residents of both boroughs can log walking miles online to count for their town in the competition.
"This is the second year that were doing walking challenge between Healthy Mahanoy and Healthy Shenandoah... We're doing the challenge from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and then we give a cup out at the football game between Mahanoy and Shenandoah".
In other business, Mahanoy City Council: