Bee Well garden is fighting hungry deer

The Bee Well Community Garden at Paris is having a down year.

“Things are progressing, but we don’t have many gardeners this year,” said KimTrine. She attributed the problem to weather rather than a lack of interest.

Trine said a good crowd attended an organizational meeting early this year but the cold and wet spring delayed planting to the point that many did not bother.

Another major issue is people getting discouraged by browsing deer eating the plants and destroying all of the hard work to create a productive garden.

“Almost any time you go out there, there are deer in the garden,” Trine said. “One gardener said she is not coming back until we get a fence.”

Trine’s comments were made during the Aug. 3 Bee Well of Edgar County meeting.  

The Bee Well Coalition grew from concerned citizens seeing the need for change after national studies ranked Edgar County as unhealthy because of the high incidences of obesity and heart disease among residents. The community garden is an effort to raise awareness about the importance of eating fresh, local, whole food instead of processed food that is often laden with salt and hidden sugar. 

Mary Liz Wright said progress was made this year toward securing a fence, which may be in place by spring 2018, if all goes well. 

“That is our number one priority for the Paris garden – a fence,” said Wright. 

Bee Well Community Gardens also exist at Hume and Kansas. 

Trine lamented the limited offerings of frozen fruit at a local retailer, while the same store has a large selection of ice cream and other frozen novelties. Others at the meeting said such a situation reflects the store stocking what sells to the local community and how Americans largely ignore healthier food in favor of poor food choices.

Another point of discussion was the effort for local restaurants to partner with Bee Well to create healthy menu options. 

A special decal would designate those choices as Bee Well approved. 

Wright said the campaign is largely planned out and stickers for the menus and decals for the restaurant doors are in the design stage. What remains is visiting with restaurant owners for their input.

“We still have to do leg work,” said Wright.

Bee Well’s popular summer fun run program for children that started in 2016 is experiencing a bit of a slump for 2017.

“The process has gone fine, but I would like to have seen better numbers,” said Erin Frank.

According to Frank, it appears the T-ball program is interfering with participation and it may be necessary to change the timing of the 2018 fun runs.

Two runs are left on the schedule. The last regular run is 6:30 p.m. Aug. 8, and the final event is 6:30 p.m. Aug. 9. Both events are in Twin Lakes Park, near the horseshoe pits.

“This was designed as a free event,” said Frank. “Kids who can’t afford to do other sports can do this.”


The Prairie Press

101 Central Avenue Paris, IL 61944