Pine Ridge Learning Garden and Family Garden Programs
Our school garden program offers over 700 students at Pine Ridge School in South Dakota access to learn how to garden as well as an opportunity to enjoy the healthy harvest.
Our family garden program makes fresh produce a reality for over 35 people who live on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Our garden programs are important because Pine Ridge Reservation is a food desert. Roughly the same land mass as the state of Connecticut, Pine Ridge has only one full service grocery store. As a result, people living on the economically impoverished reservation have little access to fresh produce. Many families struggle to have enough food to eat or have no option beyond cheap unhealthy processed foods. Inconsistent nutrients are partly responsible for elevated rates of chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. For example, nearly 75% of American Indians in South Dakota are obese, and almost 50% of adults over the age of 40 on Pine Ridge are already diabetic (this is 800% higher than the US national average). These issues, in turn, contribute to the shockingly low life expectancy of only 47 for men and 53 for women.
Conscious Alliance is committed to ending this vicious cycle of food insecurity and chronic health problems by promoting health and wellness on Pine Ridge.
Gardens serve to support healthy lifestyles, self-sufficiency, and facilitate intergenerational collaboration. They empower youth and adults to grow their own food and eat healthy fresh produce.