Falcons players and children from the Arthur M. Blank Family YMCA participated in a tour and harvested crops at the Wheat Street Garden in Atlanta on Tuesday.
Center Peter Konz, wide receiver Kevin Cone, fullback Bradie Ewing, running back Josh Vaughan and the children got to see the different areas that make up the six-acre garden, which is also a year-round farmers market and offers classes in nutrition and gardening.
The garden came to be after the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation teamed up with the Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture and its farmer, Rashid Nuri.
Having once been a vacant parking lot, Wheat Street Garden is now a national model for urban farming, agriculture employment and community development. It also provides chemical-free food to chefs and local residents and hosts a summer camp for kids.
"The Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation and the football club want Atlanta kids to be fit and healthy," said John Bare, vice president of the Arthur Blank Family Foundation. "That means getting them to be active for sixty minutes a day by moving their body physically and putting healthy foods in their bodies. Truly Living Well and Wheat Street Garden are making that possible by providing families more healthy, affordable food."
Although the Falcons participate in different types of community events throughout the city of Atlanta every Tuesday, their only day off from practice, this was the first event of its kind as it marked the first time players got to see the garden for themselves.
"It's really special because I know a lot of guys from other organizations don't get to do as much as we get to do and to be honest, it's just fun," said Konz. "We love giving back to the community and it's great that the Falcons give us a way to do that."