Local News

Broughton High junior organizes benefit race for Raleigh community garden

Posted May 29

— The Camden Street Learning Garden is much more than a green space in the southeast corner of Raleigh.

It's a community, and it's also a place where children can learn to grow their own produce.

The one-acre garden is in one of Raleigh's food deserts, and its 32 community beds provide those in need with fresh produce. It also helps children learn about the importance of good nutrition.

"This is a unique space. It's a great way to bring the community together and get fresh, local foods into their diets," Learning Garden coordinator Reanna Hawkins said. "They get to start with seeds, plant them and watch them grow."

Now, a Broughton High School junior is hoping to raise $10,000 so that the learning garden's roots can run even deeper in the community it helps serve.

Meredith Brown is behind a upcoming Food Shuttle Garden Gallop 5K, an effort to raise money to fight food insecurity and teach healthy, sustainable eating habits.

Brown says the garden inspires her.

‘Garden Gallop’ raises money for community garden

"I saw all the good this could do," she said. "I've always been so privileged in my life to just go to the store and get (food) whenever. So, to see something like this, that's having a direct impact on the community. I knew right away it was something I wanted to work with."

Between her class load at Broughton, Brown has recently been navigating the challenge of getting a road race up and running. It's no easy task.

"Getting a permit was difficult, because you fill out an application and you have to have an emergency plan to evacuate the runners," she said. "You have to contact EMS and do all sorts of things, such as hiring police officers for the race."

Jamie Kirk Hahn's spirit lives on through Camden Street Learning Garden

Juliana Pattisall-Williams, one of Brown's teachers, said she wasn't surprised to see Brown jump at organizing the race. She says it's just who Brown is.

"I was not surprised at all. Meredith has never shied away from a challenge," Pattisall-Williams said. "She has always put herself out there and looked for a new challenge."

The 5K race will kick off at 10 a.m. on June 10 at Dix Park in Raleigh. The money raised will go directly to the Camden Learning Garden.

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