Adult coloring book sheds light on Asheville and connects residents to food resources


By Web Team

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ASHEVILLE, NC (WLOS) — Adult coloring books have become a popular way to relieve stress, and now there’s one with a local connection.

The City of Asheville is launching “In the Garden”, which features 10 community gardens with scenes created by local artists. The idea is to publicize these gardens and other local food resources.

Coloring books are free and available at community centers around town.

A grant from the National Recreation and Parks Association funded them.

“The City of Asheville received a grant from the National Recreation and Park Association to promote local resources and provide opportunities for nutrition education and community gardening,” said Kim Kennedy, director of the Stephen-Lee Community Center, in A press release. “We collaborated with other community organizations on innovative ways to use the grant. The Buncombe County Council on Aging came up with the idea to create an adult coloring book featuring interpretations of community gardens by artists and storytellers from the Asheville area.

“In the Garden” highlights 10 gardens and provides information on ways to volunteer, find food and meal sites, and connect with resources to alleviate food insecurity. Fifteen artists have created pieces to represent garden locations, some of which share a personal story. As such, the artistic styles represented in the coloring book are varied. Biographies and contact information for each artist are also included.

“As trusted gathering places, parks and recreation agencies are uniquely positioned to serve as community wellness hubs, connecting every member of the community to essential programs, services and spaces that advance the health equity, improve health outcomes and improve quality of life,” Maureen Neuman, senior program director for the National Recreation and Park Association, said in the press release. “We are proud to support the work of Asheville Parks & Recreation as it steps into the role of a community nutrition hub, ensuring all community members have increased access to fresh, local food through community gardens, assistance with SNAP and WIC benefits and nutrition. educational opportunities.

Asheville Community Gardens are public spaces where neighbors find common ground while demonstrating a commitment to shared mountain spirit and sustainability. Some volunteer weekly, others once a year. Typically, the food collected is divided among the volunteers, with the excess donated to local food pantries and non-profit organizations linking resources to neighbors in need of healthy fruits and vegetables. The NRPA grant has so far been used to create two new gardens in the East End/Valley Street neighborhood and at the Burton Street Community Center.

Free copies of In the Garden are available at community centers around the city.

Artists who contributed to the adult coloring book include Jami Allen, Robyn Baxter, Julie Becker, Annie Kyla Bennett, Hannah Bunzey, Erika Busse, Sam Fontaine, Jina Mendez Martin, Ryan O’Sullivan, Stephanie Peterson Jones, Jenny Pickens, Karine Rupp-Stanko, Elizabeth Somerville, Tricia Tripp and Nicole Leigh Yates. Project collaborators with the City of Asheville include Buncombe County, Bountiful Cities, Buncombe County Council on Aging, MANNA FoodBank, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County and YMCA of West North Carolina.

If you are food insecure, connect with resources by dialing 211 from any phone or by visiting

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