Downtown Chandler Community Garden

We have been working with the City of Chandler, Chandler Christian Community Center and Harvest for Humanity for the last six months to get a garden situated in Downtown Chandler. The vision was a garden for the community with the surplus going to feed the homeless at Chandler Christian Community Center. We are proud to say that they broke ground this last week!

Many people ask “What is a community garden?” and what are the benefits?

Here are some of the benefits.

  • Improves the quality of life for people in the garden
  • Provides a catalyst for neighborhood and community development
  • Stimulates Social Interaction
  • Encourages Self-Reliance
  • Beautifies Neighborhoods
  • Produces Nutritious Food
  • Reduces Family Food Budgets
  • Conserves Resources
  • Creates opportunity for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education
  • Reduces Crime
  • Preserves Green Space
  • Creates income opportunities and economic development
  • Reduces city heat from streets and parking lots
  • Provides opportunities for intergenerational and cross-cultural connections

If you want to find out more about community gardening happening at Gangplank, check out our Community Garden Forum. If you want to do some innovating gardening, check out the Garden Pool Story.

Fat Off Winner

At the beginning of Fat Off way back in July, we challenged Gangplank members do more than just lose weight. We wanted participants to change their lifestyle. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pleasant. The challenges each week had participants playing street hockey in the dead of summer, or doing push ups and sit ups in between dodge ball throws. To stay in the lead, participants began working out everyday and pushed themselves harder than they ever knew possible.

And though not everyone made it the whole 12-weeks, many of the participants embraced the challenges posed to them and made real lifestyle changes.

Derek Neighbors participated in the first Fat Off back in 2009. He kept the weight off that he lost in the first event, but came back for the second to continue pursuing a healthy lifestyle. This time around, Derek was able to add in exercise as part of his lifestyle, something he hadn’t done in the first. He also found that the exercise was a great way to spend time together as a family, taking walks around the neighborhood and swimming on weekends. As a result, both he and his wife lost more than 30 pounds combined.

Our winner, Deidre Guadagno, experienced the most dramatic change in her lifestyle by participating in Fat Off 2010. Not only did she lose more than 20 pounds (12% of her body weight), Deidre now works out nearly every day, either through walking or on the Wii Fit, as well as having completely changed her eating habits.

Oh, and she won $700.

Congratulations Deidre and thank you to everyone that participated in Fat Off 2010. Keep up the good habits!

Check out the participant’s blog posts throughout the 12-week event.

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