S.C. Johnson forms partnership to create Racine neighborhood garden

In response to a 2014 University of Wisconsin Population Health study that scored Racine County as among the state’s 10 least-healthy counties, Racine-based S.C. Johnson is partnering with Zoe Outreach Ministries and the Racine Urban Garden Network to give residents in an area neighborhood greater access to healthy, fresh food.

S.C. Johnson is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care.

Called the Zoe Garden For Life, the garden will be constructed at the southeast corner of 21st and Racine streets on two vacant lots owned by Mt. Pleasant-based Zoe Outreach Ministries. It will contain 33 individual planting plots, and will be managed by Zoe Outreach Ministries and the Racine Urban Garden Network. The first planting is planned for next spring.

A Garden Build Event celebrating the launch of construction will take place at the garden on Saturday, Oct. 4 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  For more information on volunteering or to register, contact Ben Lehner from the Racine Urban Garden Network at rugn.org@gmail.com.  

“Access to healthy and fresh foods is critical to creating great neighborhoods for families. S.C. Johnson is excited to support the urban garden project as an important ingredient in the area’s revitalization efforts,” said Kelly Semrau, senior vice president of global corporate affairs, communication and sustainability. “The Zoe Garden For Life can serve as a new ‘retail’ anchor along Racine Street, creating a vibrant place for families to come together to grow fresh foods and further create ownership in their neighborhood.”

The neighborhood in which the new urban garden is located has been labeled a “food desert” – a term used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to designate areas that do not have ready access to nutritious foods. The urban garden project will provide area residents with the space to grow their own foods and the education they need to eat healthier.

In other S.C .Johnson news, Working Mother magazine has named it one of the 2014 “Working Mother 100 Best Companies” for its leadership in establishing programs that support working parents, including child care, paid family leave and advancement of women. This is the 26th time S.C. Johnson has been recognized by the publication.  

“I am proud of our long-standing placement on this list because it reinforces our values and unique culture that have been so important to the success of the company and the people who work here,” said Fisk Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer.

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