Long Branch, NJ—The Long Branch Concordance and the City of Long Branch will host the 7th Avenue Community Garden again this year. The kick-off will begin with a breakfast at the Community Garden scheduled for Saturday, April 13th at 9 o’clock a.m. Families cultivated their own garden plots and contribute time and energy to the communal garden as well. The program is co-facilitated by Lisa Bagwell, master gardener. This is Lisa’s fifth season working the community gardens for Long Branch. “I am very pleased that the LBC is involved with the Long Branch community gardens. It is in the best interest of the local residents that there be coalitions of people in the not for profit sector working to create and build a better community through projects such as the building of community gardens. The LBC has made great strides in involving the local community in the past year and I look forward to the most productive season yet for 2013.”

The Community Garden offers the LBC many opportunities to reach out to the community, providing programs such as Community Parent Advisory Board, crochet workshops, nutrition and cooking classes, parent education classes, and parent-child activities. All workshops and educational components, including the garden itself, focus on growing the family’s economic self sufficiency and sustainability. LBC programs also focus on enhancing parent’s life skills, literacy, and knowledge base.

As the Garden has grown each year, so has the community’s involvement in it. “It’s been amazing and really quite wonderful to see how many people come each week to tend their plants, to share recipes, and to learn about nutrition,” said Lisa Wilson, MSW, LBC’s Executive Director. She added, “Now that it has become part of the fabric of the area, and since virtually all our participants are Latino, we are reaching out to Monmouth County’s business community to become corporate sponsors. Besides helping offset LBC’s expenses for the garden, community sponsorship will raise awareness among this important population of businesses that care about them.”

If you or someone you know is interested in enrolling in the 7th Avenue community garden, please contact Jackie Mueller, Family Success Worker, at 732.571.1670 or jacqueline@lbc4help.org. If you would like to sponsor LBC programs, please contact Elizabeth Walter, Volunteer and Community Resource Coordinator liz@lbc4help.org.

The LBC, a local non-profit agency established in 2004, works to improve the lives of families in Long Branch and the surrounding area by finding resources for people in need, fostering individual and family development, and creating partnerships for community well-being. For more information about the agency, its programs and services, please visit the website, www.lbc4help.org