Mayor Bill Finch Revitalizes Athletic Field and Expands Edible Garden in "Little Asia" Community as Part of National GRO1000 Gardens and Green Spaces Program Refurbished athletic field and new community garden will serve as catalyst for city-wide commitment to food and recreation access

BRIDGEPORT, Conn., May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch will dedicate the "Little Asia" Community Garden and Athletic Field at Curiale Elementary School as part of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and The U.S. Conference of Mayors nationwide GRO1000 gardens and green spaces program. The expansion of an Asian-themed community garden and the renovations to an existing athletic field will improve access to fresh vegetables and fruits and recreational activities for local residents. The garden will also serve as a learning laboratory for students at nearby Curiale Elementary School to learn about healthy food choices.

The "Little Asia" Athletic Field and Community Garden project supports Mayor Finch's BGreen Sustainability Plan and Parks Master Plan, two initiatives that are vital to the public health and wellness of Bridgeport residents. The plans also aim to develop volunteer initiatives to promote cleanup in parks and other public areas. The "Little Asia" project will be a catalyst for improving underserved areas throughout the West End neighborhood.

"Enhancing our green spaces and expanding our parks system is one of the highest priorities of our BGreen 2020 initiative. The expansion of the Asian-themed garden and the renovations to the athletic field, thanks to the contributions of ScottsMiracle-Gro and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, will help create a safe, healthy place for children of the Little Asia neighborhood and Curiale School to get out, be active, enjoy the outdoors and live a healthy lifestyle."

GRO1000 is a national program launched by ScottsMiracle-Gro in 2011 to create more than 1,000 community gardens and green spaces in the U.S., Canada and Europe by 2018. The U.S. Conference of Mayors partnered with ScottsMiracle-Gro on the GRO1000 initiative to recognize mayors for the installation of innovative, public green spaces designed to improve our nation's cities.

"We're honored to support the City of Bridgeport's long-term wellness and beautification plans," said Mike Carbonara, President, U.S. North Region, ScottsMiracle-Gro. "The new community garden and athletic field will help enhance the West End neighborhood and provide area residents with a place to enjoy the outdoors."

The GRO1000 Bridgeport event at Curiale Elementary School kicks off at 10:30 a.m. on May 7 at 300 Laurel Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut 06605. More than 100 students from Curiale Elementary School will join local volunteers, including ScottsMiracle-Gro associates, city officials and GRO1000 national and local partners, to prepare new edible beds in the community garden and to make improvements to the multi-purpose athletic field. Gardening and environmental activities will take place 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. for students. One deserving youth will be presented with the ScottsMiracle-Gro Give Back To Gro Youth Gardener Award.

GRO1000 Bridgeport was made possible through the combined efforts of local partners, including the City of Bridgeport, along with national partners including, The U.S. Conference of Mayors, ScottsMiracle-Gro, Plant A Row for the Hungry, the National Gardening Association, the Garden Writers Association and Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.  The Bridgeport GRO1000 event is one of several public installation events being held in the U.S., Canada and Europe in 2013.

About ScottsMiracle-Gro
With approximately $3 billion in worldwide sales, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, The Scotts Company LLC, is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care, with products for professional horticulture as well. The Company's brands are the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts®, Miracle-Gro® and Ortho® brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup® brand, which is marketed in North America and most of Europe exclusively by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. In the U.S., we operate Scotts LawnService®, the second largest residential lawn care service business. Visit us at www.scotts.com.

About the U.S. Conference of Mayors:
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,295 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/usmayors, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/usmayors.

SOURCE The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company



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