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A new community garden is now open at Carle at The Riverfront

A new community garden is now open at Carle at The Riverfront
On Tuesday, June 20, a ribbon-cutting event was held to launch The Riverfront Community Garden as a new green space dedicated to supporting food insecurity initiatives in Vermilion County.
This agricultural garden sits on the Northwest Corner of The Riverfront medical campus on the corner of Chandler, Madison and Logan. Its creation was supported by Carle Health several community partners throughout the Danville area.
“We’re excited for what this garden is going to do for Danville residents,” said Timothy Meneely, DO, Medical Director for Carle at The Riverfront.
Riverfront-Garden.jpegHealth initiatives like this garden address the gaps in health and wellness in rural communities like Vermilion County, as well as address the higher rates of food insecurity. This green space also aims to benefit residents by continuing to improve the social and economic factors that affect their health.
Nicole Van Hyfte, Director of Danville’s Chamber of Commerce, led the event with an introduction of the garden’s mission to attendees, its role in the community, and welcomed Dr. Meneely to say a few words about the work that was done to launch this project, thanking those who were involved.
The Hegler Foundation was a key contributor to the creation of this garden and supporting our efforts to improve the health of individuals and families throughout the area. Carle’s Philanthropy Department also provided a gift of support of this project which helped to bring the garden to life.
Other community partners from Vermilion County have been integral to creation and maintenance of this garden. Health Care Transformation, Christie Clinic, the Danville Area Community College, the Danville Rotary Club, the Kiwanis Club and Project Success of Vermilion County all are integral partners whose support was key to successfully securing this green space.
Because education on healthy living is another way to improve the health of community members, the garden will also provide educational opportunities for students at every academic level of learning. Students from local Danville schools and colleges will receive hands on experience in a natural space, learning about sustainable farm to table living and the benefits of growing their food.Cropped-Planter.jpeg
Carle team members are also encouraged to utilize the space once the health and educational mission of the garden has been met.
During the ribbon-cutting, Dr. Meneely took a moment to recognize a member of the Danville community and a member of our Carle Health team.
Vicki Haugen was the longtime Director of Vermilion Advantage and was instrumental in helping assemble the land and approvals needed to make Carle at The Riverfront a reality. She knew the positive impact that this development would have Danville and was very passionate about this project. 
She cared deeply about her community and recognized that The Riverfront would be a catalyst for further economic development, such as with this garden and the first farmers market hosted at the plaza.
Vicki unfortunately passed after her battle with cancer before she could this project come to fruition. This project would not have happened without her hard work and support and she will be memorialized in The Riverfront garden with a dedicated plaque.
Dr. Jay Yambert was a beloved physician who worked to improve the health of the communities he served. His unexpected passing is felt by all and so his life and work are also honored in the garden with a memorial plaque.
“We have memorialized both Vicki Haugen and Dr. Jay Yambert with these plaques that honor their dedication and support for health and wellness across our communities,” said Dr. Meneely.
Community partners and Carle leadership joined together for a ceremonial planting of tomato plants in the garden followed by a ribbon-cutting to launch the growing season, inviting attendees to explore the space.
For more information about Carle at The Riverfront, visit

Categories: Community

Tags: Community, Danville, Food, Garden, Health, Initiative, Insecurity, Partnership, Philanthropy, Riverfront