Community Partners Bring Raised Garden Beds to Life for Local Boys & Girls Club

Mar 29, 2017 1:00 PM ET

The sound of hammers, the smell of fertile soil, and the promise of a bountiful harvest filled the air at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kingsport’s Eastman Center as seven raised garden beds came to life.

Made possible by the Eastman Foundation and Appalachian Sustainable Development’s Learning Landscapes program, the raised garden beds support the Boys & Girls Club health and life skills program area. The project provides a tremendous opportunity not only for Club members to get active outdoors but also to learn about gardening and the plants they grow. They will also be able to enjoy the fresh food and flowers that result from their efforts. The impact of educating and inspiring healthy habits can expand beyond Club members to influence healthy habits for their families and the broader community.

Members of the Club, Appalachian Sustainable Development and the Eastman Foundation worked with graduate students from Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management to highlight the positive impacts that are possible from strong community partnerships.

The Eastman Foundation is dedicated to making a difference in our global communities by investing in creative solutions that empower and inspire others to take action on environmental and social issues. "Partnering with Vanderbilt's Turner Family Center for Social Ventures just makes sense on so many different levels,” says CeeGee McCord, Eastman’s Director of Global Public Affairs and Corporate Responsibility, “They share our desire to work in partnerships that improve opportunities both domestically and internationally. It is a privilege to have them here and work with them on this project with Appalachian Sustainable Development and the Boys & Girls Club."

In addition to the hands-on learning project at Boys & Girls Club, the students spent the weekend learning how our region is working together to address specific social challenges.

 “We are tremendously grateful for our community partners,” says Lisa Beilharz, CEO and President of Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kingsport. “We’re appreciative for the commitment of our community to help us create opportunities for our Club members to enjoy a unique and rewarding learning experience.”

Learn more about Eastman’s Corporate Responsibility efforts and the Eastman Foundation at

If you’d like to follow the gardening adventures of the Eastman Center Boys & Girls Club, follow Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kingsport on Facebook or visit


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