Mercy Hospital Opens Community Garden For Local Students

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Mercy Medical Center on Tuesday unveiled its new community garden that a local school will use in its curriculum, hospital officials announced.

Students from Cooper Elementary School in Bella Vista held a “first planting” Tuesday to commemorate the opening of the garden on the grounds of Mercy hospital across the street. Officials said the students will use the gardens as an outdoor classroom for hands-on learning.

Teachers at the school will incorporate garden activities into the children’s schoolwork by maintaining and harvesting fruits and vegetables.

An outdoor trail system is also scheduled to be built next to Cooper Elementary to aid the students in physical education.

The community garden at Mercy was developed through a $40,000 grant from General Mills and is the result of a partnership between Mercy hospital, Cooper Elementary, General Mills and the University of Arkansas Master Gardeners, according to a statement released by the hospital.