On April 17, 2015, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared April National Garden Month. Throughout the month, USDA will celebrate the contributions of home, school and community gardens in providing healthy food for the table; pleasant surroundings and recreational benefits for people; and beneficial habitat for wildlife across the Nation.
“National Garden Month is an opportunity to learn more about USDA’s People’s Garden Initiative begun in 2009,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Today, 2,116 People’s Gardens thrive on public and private lands across the United States and its territories and in 12 foreign countries. These People’s Gardens serve as models for uniting individuals, groups and neighborhoods in a common effort to benefit communities, promote food security, utilize sustainable practices, help mitigate pollinator habitat loss, and address environmental issues.”
In addition to being beautiful, gardens provide a positive setting for pollinators, such as bats, bees, birds, butterflies, beetles and other animals that contribute substantially to the economy and play a role in keeping fruits, nuts and vegetables in our diets. These facts alone make National Garden Month a worthy declaration.
The declaration was made via an official proclamation signed by Secretary Vilsack. The People’s Garden Initiative is a USDA Department-wide effort that is administered through USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.