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New community garden for veterans opening at Valley Park

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (April 25, 2017) — The Highmark Community Garden at Valley Park is expanding to include 30 raised-bed plots for veterans to grow fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. The project is a collaboration between the Putnam County Parks and Recreation Commission and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia.

"We are proud to show our support of the local veteran community by partnering with the Putnam County Parks and Recreation Commission to provide access to garden plots to those who may not otherwise be able to grow their own food,” said Jim Fawcett, president, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia. “This garden is a terrific example of how we are fulfilling our mission to improve the health and wellness of the communities we serve. We are hopeful that the garden will provide a place for veterans to work together, build skills for healthy living and connect to their community."

Funded by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia, the garden will feature 30 raised-bed plots – including 15 handicap-accessible beds – a sidewalk, park benches, picnic tables, and a memorial wall. Valley Park staff and Highmark employee volunteers will build the community garden, with construction to be completed later this month, followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony and planting day celebration on May 12 at 11 a.m.

"We are very grateful to Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia for its support of the community gardens at Valley Park. We hope this new community garden will provide a safe place for veterans of all ages to grow their own food, build community connections and engage in a relaxing and therapeutic activity," said Jarrod Dean, executive director, Putnam County Parks and Recreation Commission. "This garden is one small way we can honor the service and sacrifice of veterans and their families. It will be an asset to Putnam County for many years to come."

Raised-bed plots will be available in three sizes – 2-by-8 feet (for flowers and herbs only), 4-by-8 feet and 4-by-10 feet – at no cost to local veterans and their families on a first come, first served basis. Those interested should contact Jarrod Dean at 304-562-0518 or jarrod@putnamcountyparks.com.

About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia serves approximately 300,000 members through the company’s health care benefits business and hundreds of thousands of additional members through the BlueCard®program. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia holds the largest share of the commercial market, and ranks number three in overall market share, behind two large national carriers. With offices in Parkersburg, Charleston and Wheeling, it employs nearly 700 people. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

For more information, contact:
Kristy Cramlet
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia
304-424-9888
kristy.cramlet@highmarkhealth.org
Jarrod Dean
Putnam County Parks & Recreation Commission
304-562-0518
jarrod@putnamcountyparks.com