Award-winning fruit, herb and vegetable gardens at CMC-University? How Green and inGenius!
Our hospital recently won national recognition for using its 3-year-old teaching gardens to help patients and students learn about topics such as healthy eating, sustainable gardening and composting.
The Emerald Partner for Change Award is given by Practice Greenhealth, a national group that advances environmental stewardship in the healthcare community.
A competitive distinction, the Emerald Partner for Change Award recognizes health care facilities that demonstrate well developed sustainability programs and have achieved an advanced level of improvements in their mercury elimination, waste reduction, recycling and source reduction programs.
“A healthier ecosystem supports a healthier community,” said Christina Vernon, assistant vice president for A Healthy Environment at Carolinas Health System. “By taking on the challenge of environmental stewardship, we are making Charlotte a healthier place to live, work and heal. What’s more, across Carolinas HealthCare System, we’re helping to enhance care for the patients we serve every day. We are proud of CMC-University’s commitment and celebrate this well-deserved recognition.”
To receive the award, CMC-University demonstrated implementation of a number of successful efforts, many of them centered on its teaching garden, an organic fruit, vegetable and herb garden that highlights the nutritional and environmental benefits of fresh, locally grown produce through interactive and educational programs.
The hospital was cited for its efforts in using the garden, which opened in 2012, to educate community groups on sustainable gardening, feed underserved populations, provide wellness programs to school-age students encouraging healthy eating habits, and demonstrate composting techniques and container gardening methods featuring recycled pots and fencing materials.
“Not only are we making a direct and positive impact on the environment through our garden; we’re also using it as a tool to teach our community about sustainable practices, which amplifies our efforts even further,” said Joe Labovitz, vice president of CMC-University.
Practice Greenhealth also recognized Carolinas HealthCare System facilities Carolinas Medical Center, CMC-Mercy and CMC-NorthEast with environmental excellence awards.