SBAIL competes to win a fruit orchard for Anixter Village
CHICAGO, April 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Spina Bifida Association of Illinois (SBAIL), a forty year-old non profit serving thousands of Illinois residents, announced today that it has teamed up with Edy's Fruit Bars on their "Communities Take Root" orchard competition, an annual program to provide a source of fresh fruit by planting fruit tree orchards in deserving communities throughout the United States.
Beginning April 15 - August 31, you can cast your vote on line daily to help The Greening of Anixter, a unique "enabled" garden and Farmer's Market project located at Anixter Village, 2059 West Washburne Avenue. Anixter Village is a pioneering building designed to make the dream of independent living a reality for people with physical disabilities. SBAIL manages its day-to-day operations.
Edy's is passionate about helping neighborhoods become greener, healthier and sweeter. To help Anixter receive an orchard, visit www.communitiestakeroot.com. There you can read about this inspiring start-up project, view photographs and cast your vote. "Receiving an orchard will have a positive impact on the lives of Anixter's residents and beautify the surrounding neighborhood," says Amy Maggio, SBAIL's Executive Director. The orchard will be planted in partnership with the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, a non profit dedicated to planting fruit trees to support healthy nutrition worldwide. Five winning neighborhoods will be announced each month from June through September; a total of 20 new orchards will be planted.
Chicago area Kiwanis Clubs of Illinois-Eastern Iowa District are founding partners of the project. Master gardeners, educators and students of the Garden Clubs of Illinois, The Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, The Urban Horticultural and Environment Program of the University of Illinois Extension, the Cook County 4-H and the Rehabilitation Institute will work with residents to plan and install the garden. All will get their hands dirty planting vegetables, herbs, flowers, trees and shrubs. Karen Tamley, Commissioner, Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, will provide advice as the project unfolds.
Working with experienced educators, Anixter's tenants and student volunteers will learn how to grow a host of produce which should benefit their health and well being. Gardening is a life-enhancing, therapeutic activity for people of all ages and abilities. It improves strength, motor skills and range of motion, reduces stress and provides opportunities to learn how to include fresh food in a daily diet.
"Being involved in The Greening of Anixter will build confidence and create human bonds between gardeners that will transcend social barriers, particularly those faced by the disabled," says Ms. Maggio. "Gardens invite socialization," she continues, "and bringing plants and people together promotes cooperation." Anixter's garden is a safe environment where people of all ages, backgrounds and physical abilities will come together.
Learning vocational skills like gardening, retailing and business management will help residents secure employment, especially once an on-site Farmer's Market opens. SBAIL will work with the American Horticultural Therapy Association and other greening and environmental organizations that offer education and job placement services for the disabled.
The Greening of Anixter is a groundbreaking project. If you/your organization would like to volunteer, donate funding or in-kind products or services, please contact Ms. Maggio at the information below.
Amy Maggio, Executive Director
Spina Bifida Association of Illinois
Ph: 773-444-0305 Fax: 773-444-0327
SOURCE Spina Bifida Association of Illinois (SBAIL)