Meridian Star

July 5, 2013

Meridian 'green' organization to host state conference

Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Go Green, Meridian!, A local chapter of the Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute of Mississippi (GGSIM), was recently chosen to host a state-wide conference in the spring of 2014.  

    “We are thrilled and honored to host this event," said Karin Roberts, secretary and founding member of Go Green, Meridian! "We are one of the newest chapters of GGSIM, but we feel that with our simple mission of raising awareness in Mississippi to the possibilities of a more sustainable lifestyle can truly help our community live well. We are committed to providing information and resources to empower the people of Meridian to make healthy, sustainable life choices.”

    The Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute of Mississippi was founded in Starkville in 2010. Previous state-wide conferences have been held in Hattiesburg, Jackson, and Oxford.

    The conference will be held April 4-6. Conference guests will enjoy renowned keynote speakers, hands-on workshops, health and wellness seminars, and local farm field trips. The conference, which coincides with the first weekend of 2014 Earth’s Bounty, will also include a welcome dinner and a hoe down with local entertainment.

    Go Green, Meridian! members meet monthly to swap ideas, share garden and lifestyle tips, and strategize on upcoming events and projects. The group also seeks to connect neighbors to sources of local ingredients, and sustainable practices by publishing information in their e-newsletter and sponsoring a booth at the Earth’s Bounty Farmer’s Market.

    Right now the organization is raising money to start a community garden behind Cater’s Market in North Meridian.

    According to JoAnne Weems, Go Green member and volunteer, “The goal of the Meridian Community Garden Project is to learn to grow in raised beds and traditional garden rows and incorporate compost as an organic fertilizer and to use natural methods for pest control. We realize that this is not always possible, but we want to grow as organically as possible.

    "Our hopes are that members will take what we learn into our community, building gardens in our neighborhoods, churches and schools, sharing our experience and helping ignite a desire for the residents of our community to create a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.”

    ”The community garden project was created when our own members were thirsty for hands-on knowledge and experience so that they can share with others.  It is simply a pay it forward experience to improve the culture of diet in Meridian,” Roberts said.

    Go Green, Meridian! is an informational resource that supports local charities and causes from public schools to recycling efforts and seeks to foster cooperation among all local farmers and businesses. Attending meetings and receiving the newsletter is free of charge. Business members receive free marketing, and the organization allows vendors from Mississippi to sell from their booth at Earth’s Bounty.  

    As part of their fundraising efforts, the organization also sells T-shirts, southern garden journals and Pura Vida bracelets at the Earth's Bounty booth.     

    For more information please visit the Go Green, Meridian! website at  

    The next meeting of Go Green, Meridian! will be today at 5:30 p.m. at Sandy’s Organic, located at 2211 5th St., in Meridian.