The We’ve Got Your Back Community Garden project, that began earlier this year at the corner of Airport Road and Old Waterworks Road in Fort Payne, continues to see progress.

Nurse Practitioner and Co-Founder, Danielle Blalock said they are very excited about this new project under the We’ve Got Your Back organization.

“This garden is intended to address the increasing food insecurity in DeKalb County that we anticipate given the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

Dr. Peter Strogov, co-founder of the project, said food insecurity has always been an issue in our community, and with the mass unemployment due to the coronavirus, it will surely get worse.

“The community garden is a small endeavor hoping to give to those in need,” he said.

We’ve Got Your Back is a nonprofit organization founded in 2018 by Fort Payne Pediatrics providers, Peter Strogov (MD) and Danielle Blalock (CRNP). The organization sponsors annual fundraisers and initiatives, such as Operation Back to School and Community Garden. We’ve Got Your Back offers the tools and resources to provide immediate and lasting support for children and families in the community.

Operation Back to School helps provide children in foster care school clothes and supplies through the support of local residents and businesses.

Blalock said they'd had several successful years with the organization's Operation Back to School, and the Community Garden is something they and doctor Peter Strovov have dreamed of for several years.

“We envision the Community Garden as a place managed by community members, worked by community members to benefit community members,” Strogov said.

With the current pandemic and uncertain times, Blalock said they believe it is needed now more than ever.

“This allows community members to create a nice, productive area, together with their neighbors [while] getting to know, work with and learn from each other,” said Strogov.

The goal is to grow around 5,000 lbs of produce for the community to be delivered to, or picked up by those who are in need in the community, said Blalock.

“We are looking for contributions and donations to help us make this project a success,” she said.

For the project to continue, volunteers, tools, bags and crates are among some of the things that are needed.

Besides providing freshly grown produce to those in need, the educational aspect that takes place at many community gardens can allow neighbors to learn about nutrition, environmental sustainability and job skills.

“In the vein of ‘give a man a fish, he will eat today, teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime,’ the Community Garden will be used for teaching both adults and children gardening facts and techniques they could take with them,” Strogov said.

As a pediatrician, he said one driving inspiration for the Community Garden was to work with the community's youth and give them resources to work toward a better tomorrow for our community.

We’ve Got Your Back is a nonprofit organization founded in 2018 by Fort Payne Pediatrics providers, Peter Strogov (MD) and Danielle Blalock (CRNP). The organization sponsors annual fundraisers and initiatives, such as Operation Back to School and Community Garden. We’ve Got Your Back offers the tools and resources to provide immediate and lasting support for children and families in the community.

Operation Back to School helps provide children in foster care school clothes and supplies through the support of local residents and businesses.

According to staff, last year — with added support from businesses in Jackson and St. Clair County — We’ve Got Your Back was able to extend their reach to those two counties in addition to DeKalb County, providing for more foster children than before.

Monetary donations are welcome and can be made through the Fort Payne Pediatrics website at www.fortpaynepeds.com under the ‘Outreach’ tab.

For those interested in finding ways to unite and help others, We’ve Got Your Back organization is geared toward community outreach.

According to their website, any business or individual who donates $200 or more will receive a personalized plaque that will be displayed throughout the garden.

Donations will contribute to maintaining the garden and, in return, will provide fresh produce for the community.

For questions or to volunteer, email wgyb@fortpaynepeds.com and for updates, follow them on Facebook @wevegotyourbackal

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