The American Heart Association and the Dallas Farmers Market break ground on the first farmers market Teaching Garden

Garden honors longtime Dallas Farmers Market advocate Ida Papert

September 30, 2015 Categories: Program News

DALLAS (September 30, 2015) – The American Heart Association (AHA), in collaboration with numerous Dallas community partners, will break ground Saturday, Oct. 3, at 10:30 a.m. on its first AHA Teaching Garden to be located at a farmers market. Mama Ida’s Teaching Garden at the Dallas Farmers Market will offer custom-designed educational programs for people of all ages.

The space is named for "Mama" Ida Papert, an avid supporter of the Dallas Farmers Market and founder of the Dallas Farmers Market Friends, a volunteer organization focused on enhancing shoppers’ experiences. The garden will serve to educate the community on the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables, and each harvest will help feed Dallas’ homeless through produce donations to Family Gateway.

A Teaching Garden is a nutrition intervention program that can promote increased fruit and vegetable intake among students. The physical garden, along with the first-of-its-kind AHA curriculum specially designed for a farmers market, will teach garden-themed lessons, nutrition, math and science, enabling all who enjoy the garden to make healthy choices.

"Teaching Gardens provide the opportunity for today’s busy individuals to get back to the basics of learning how to grow, prepare and enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables," said Sheila George, Senior Community Health Director for the American Heart Association. "Through Teaching Gardens, schools and communities are coming together to teach everyone the numerous benefits of making healthy choices."

"Farmer Kim" Aman, recognized as a 2013 Eco-educator by WFAA-TV and a Dallas Farmers Market Friends board member, worked with the AHA to develop the farmers market curriculum. As the Dallas Farmers Market Field Trip Instructor, she will lead the garden programs at the farmers market, a popular destination for many local school field trips.

Students and adults will maintain the space year-round, as it is a North Texas Food Bank partner garden for participants seeking volunteer opportunities.

The garden was funded by the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a leading charitable organization of the entertainment industry that harnesses the collective power of the entire industry to raise awareness and funds for critical health, educational and social issues. Downtown Dallas Inc. will provide dozens of tools for the build, including shovels, rakes, buckets, trowels, wheelbarrows and more.

"This garden helps to fulfill our mission to ensure the Dallas Farmers Market is a community space rich with activity for our all our neighbors to experience and appreciate fresh, local foods," said Amanda Vanhoozier, Director of Market Operations at the Dallas Farmers Market. "We’re grateful to the American Heart Association for choosing the Dallas Farmers Market for its first farmers market-located Teaching Garden, and to all our local community partners who have come together to ensure the garden thrives for years to come."

The Mama Ida Teaching Garden groundbreaking ceremony will be held Oct. 3 at 10:30 a.m. at the Dallas Farmers Market, 1010 S. Pearl Expressway in Downtown Dallas. The soon-to-be installed garden site is east of The Shed.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Our mission is to build healthier lives by preventing, treating and defeating these diseases – America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit

About Dallas Farmers Market

Established in 1941, the Dallas Farmers Market is one of the largest and oldest food distribution centers in the country. DF Market Holdings LLC bought a majority stake in the market from the city in May 2013 and currently leads the progressive revitalization of the year-round attraction. Committed to cultivating a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle for North Texas, the Dallas Farmers Market is becoming a true, sustainable farmers market selling food that is grown and sourced locally. The daytime market is open Friday through Monday and operates out of The Shed at 1010 S. Pearl Expressway in downtown Dallas. The Market (formally Shed 2, the indoor pavilion) is undergoing renovations and will reopen in late 2015. The Dallas Farmers Market operates a nighttime wholesale market on Thursday and Sunday evenings from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., with approximately 78 metric tons of produce moving through the market each week to fruit stands and restaurants from Oklahoma to Arkansas. For more information visit


Media Contact:

American Heart Association, Dallas Division

Marchelle Michel, / 903-821-8400

MediaLine PR (for the Dallas Farmers Market)

Christelle Dupont, / 310-467-6720

Rebecca Wilkins, / 214-437-9096

24-hour media line: 214-888-6533

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and

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