Victory Park Children’s Garden

New Bedford Mass in Motion received a $10,000 Childhood Obesity Prevention grant from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation to start a children’s garden at Victory Park, New Bedford, in June 2012. The project was created in collaboration with Trips for Kids New Bedford (TFK), a program housed in the historic Victory Park Warming House in the South End of New Bedford, from which children ages 9-16 go on bike rides throughout the city during the summer.  Their mission is to “promote basic bicycle safety, physical fitness and environmental awareness, while providing children with great role models who can instill in them the positive life values of mutual respect, kindness, cooperation, responsibility and self-determination.” The collaboration and development of the children’s garden held to TFK’s mission and Mass in Motion’s goal to increase physical activity and promote better nutrition. More information on the gardens can be found in our yearly blog posts. Check out our year 1 post to learn about our educational programs in the parks. Our year 2 post has information on the garden’s donations to various food banks throughout the city.

Quotes About the Garden

“The garden promotes healthy living and good nutritional habits in a time when childhood obesity around the country is exploding.  It’s a win, win, win—it promotes better nutrition, brings kids together, teaches them horticultural skills, and most importantly it cultivates teamwork and hard work. The kids have a tangible product at the end that they can be proud of and can share with other people. These are the kinds of things we should be supporting as a City and as a community.”
Mayor Jon Mitchell, City of New Bedford

“What we have here is a small garden with a huge impact. There have been many, many people in the community supporting this. We are proud as punch as we watch our kids who are riding their bikes, eating healthy and eating cucumbers instead of chips! ”
Joann Tschaen, Executive Director, Trips for Kids New Bedford

“This is one of the most beneficial things I’ve ever worked in. I just learn something new everyday.”
-Shoshawna, Student Leader

I think it’s amazing. Everybody decided to make something for the community, and having something tangible at the end is very cool!”  
-Nepherterrie, Student Leader

“The Victory Park Children’s Garden is the culmination of a truly tremendous collaboration. We chose Trips for Kids New Bedford as a perfect partner that supports physical activity  through cycling and healthy eating and empowerment by bringing kids from New Bedford together.  This Garden is thriving…the Kids have really made this happen.”
-Dr. Pauline Hamel, Mass in Motion New Bedford Coordinator

“We are cultivating more than just vegetables here. It’s about community involvement and support and inquiries like “what’s going to happen next?”  That’s the real payment. Let’s get our hands dirty and learn what the Earth has to teach us!”
Chancery Perks, Victory Park Garden project coordinator

“We are so happy to be investing in this project…it’s all about building Healthy Communities, and New Bedford totally gets it!”    
-Michael Devlin, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation 

Garden – 2013

Garden – 2012