Rookies Participate in "Health In The Hood" Project

Posted Jun 20, 2016

Members of the Miami Dolphins rookie class assisted in beautifying a Liberty City garden, including weeding, bed clearing, soil replenishment and planting.

The Dolphins’ offseason program ended last week, but the team’s rookies still donned their jerseys Monday when they joined forces for a great cause.

The rookies, along with AARP Foundation Special Teams Community Service Academy, teamed up to help beautify and replenish a Liberty City Garden. The players and volunteers did some weeding, bed clearing, soil replenishment and planting.

Health in the Hood urban gardens are located in three of Miami's most disadvantaged, food desert communities. The neighborhoods have little or no access to fresh fruits and vegetables, health education or organized exercise programs. The vegetables grown are given away to families who need them the most. The gardens also serve as a living classroom for kids to connect to their food choices through nutrition and fitness workshops.

“I have this amazing group of guys out here working their tails off, helping us replenish the gardens, adding soil, planting peppers, collared greens and lettuce,” said Asha Loring, the executive director of Health in the Hood. “It means everything. We’ve got tons of kids out here that couldn’t be more excited to have this great group of kids out there with us.

“They say about gardens, your mind is free and your hands are busy. It’s a really good opportunity for people to get in touch with their community, really give back. It’s an easy, fun project.”

The Dolphins’ rookies, all wearing their aqua jersey, said they enjoyed the gardening work but more so interacting with the kids on hand.

“It’s my first time actually planting stuff, picking up all that types of stuff,” said first-round pick Laremy Tunsil. “It’s a good thing to come out here and help these kids because these kids go through a lot. To see some football players come out here and engage with them, it’s pretty good.

“I like to see kids having a smile on their face. I’m here doing my thing.”

Said second-round pick Xavien Howard: “It means a lot coming back, just being out here helping the kids, seeing the smile on their face and seeing other things we can do other than playing football.”
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