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Increasing Healthy Living in North Carolina Communities:
Eat Smart, Move More Community Grants

Henderson County Revitalizes Low-Resource District

Henderson County Health Department received the 2012-2013 Eat Smart, Move More Community Grant to revitalize 7th Avenue, a low-resource district of Hendersonville, NC. The goal of the project was to expand opportunities for healthy living among residents of 7th Avenue, one of the few African-American and Hispanic communities in the county. The project focused on improvements and expansion of a community garden; creating access to the community garden, park and local greenway; and promotion of community farmers’ market held within the targeted area.

Nineteen new raised beds expanded the existing community garden, and 14 fruit trees were planted nearby. Master gardeners, plot owners and the local Boys and Girls Club seniors volunteered to coordinate, implement and maintain the gardens so that the 7th Avenue residents could enjoy the garden. A water line was extended to the new raised beds, and a sidewalk and crosswalk were constructed to allow safe and easy access to the garden.

Bicycle racks and benches were installed along the greenway and in the park, providing places to rest and enjoy the greenway’s natural scenery along the river. Mile markers, which can be adjusted as the greenway is expanded, were placed to help those using the greenway to track their activity level. A sidewalk was constructed along a street bordering the park, and an additional paved path has been planned to connect the park to the greenway.

There is already a large covered basketball court in the community. Renewed interest in this area prompted the city to make plans to mark the concrete court area for other games, repair basketball hoops, repair roofing and improve lighting. Once improvements are made, the city will also construct a wheelchair accessible walkway between the park, street sidewalk and the covered area.

Partners for this project included:

  • City of Hendersonville
  • 7th Avenue Historical Association
  • Kaye Campbell (master gardener, farmer and community garden volunteer)
  • Elizabeth Curtis (community garden organizer and volunteer)
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Residents of Green Meadows 7th Avenue District

This project allowed a community to focus on improving access to healthy foods and physical activities for their neighborhood. The community gardens and the establishment of a future farmers’ market have brought much energy and excitement to the area. Although funding has ended, the relationship between the health department, volunteers, and community advocates and agencies has not. The agency will continue its work and support of future projects.

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