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Wolf Pack Garden promotes healthy living

Chief Master Sgt. Lee “Wolf Chief” Barr, 8th Fighter Wing command chief, hammers nails to secure the retaining walls together for “Wolf Pack Garden” in front of the Sonlight Inn, March 14, 2015, at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. The garden is part of a community initiative to promote healthy living for Wolf Pack Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. George Maddon/Released)

Chief Master Sgt. Lee “Wolf Chief” Barr, 8th Fighter Wing command chief, hammers nails to secure the retaining walls together for “Wolf Pack Garden” in front of the Sonlight Inn, March 14, 2015, at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. The garden is part of a community initiative to promote healthy living for Wolf Pack Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. George Maddon/Released)

Col. Ken “Wolf” Ekman, 8th Fighter Wing commander, and 8th FW Airmen build part of the retaining wall for “Wolf Pack Garden” in front of the Sonlight Inn, March 14, 2015, at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. The garden is part of a community initiative to promote healthy living for Wolf Pack Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Reba Good/Released)

Col. Ken “Wolf” Ekman, 8th Fighter Wing commander, and 8th FW Airmen build part of the retaining wall for “Wolf Pack Garden” in front of the Sonlight Inn, March 14, 2015, at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. The garden is part of a community initiative to promote healthy living for Wolf Pack Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Reba Good/Released)

8th Fighter Wing Airmen build the foundation for “Wolf Pack Garden” in front of the Sonlight Inn, March 14, 2015, at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. The garden is part of a community initiative to promote healthy living for Wolf Pack Airmen.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Reba Good/Released)

8th Fighter Wing Airmen build the foundation for “Wolf Pack Garden” in front of the Sonlight Inn, March 14, 2015, at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. The garden is part of a community initiative to promote healthy living for Wolf Pack Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Reba Good/Released)

An 8th Fighter Wing Airman reinforces the retaining wall of “Wolf Pack Garden” in front of the Sonlight Inn, March 14, 2015, at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. The garden is part of a community initiative to promote healthy living for Wolf Pack Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. George Maddon/Released)

An 8th Fighter Wing Airman reinforces the retaining wall of “Wolf Pack Garden” in front of the Sonlight Inn, March 14, 2015, at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. The garden is part of a community initiative to promote healthy living for Wolf Pack Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. George Maddon/Released)

8th Fighter Wing Airmen pose for a group photo after building the initial portion of the foundation for “Wolf Pack Garden” in front of the Sonlight Inn, March 14, 2015, at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. The garden is part of a community initiative to promote healthy living for Wolf Pack Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Reba Good/Released)

8th Fighter Wing Airmen pose for a group photo after building the initial portion of the foundation for “Wolf Pack Garden” in front of the Sonlight Inn, March 14, 2015, at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. The garden is part of a community initiative to promote healthy living for Wolf Pack Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Reba Good/Released)

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- As part of a Department of Defense effort to develop a way for installations to have access to healthy foods, Wolf Pack members are spending the next several months constructing a community garden in front of the Sonlight Inn.

To help promote healthy living, the Air Force adopted the Military Nutrition Environment Assessment Tool, program in early 2012. The m-Neat is a 12-part survey used to evaluate healthy living and eating options afforded to military members. One of the survey areas is titled Community.

"The community assessment identifies whether or not healthy eating/nutrition is promoted through programs throughout the installation," said Bill Goins, 8th Medical Operations Squadron health promotion program coordinator. "One of the areas that we did not have was a community garden. We identified that this would be a fun initiative that could even lend to increased resiliency for Airmen at Kunsan." 

Goins said he approached the Kunsan chapel staff to see if they were interested in leading the community garden project. 

"We took the project and ran with it," said Lt. Col. Dwayne "Shepherd" Jones, 8th FW wing chaplain. "This is an important project for the entire Wolf Pack community. Just because it's here by the chapel doesn't make this a chapel garden. It's a community garden, a Wolf Pack garden."

Wolf Pack volunteers built the foundations of Wolf Pack Garden here, March 14. 

Shepherd and Komang Goins, Kunsan's Sonlight Inn director, coordinated support for resources and volunteers. They also scouted for the best location to plant the garden.

"We decided to put it out in front of the Sonlight Inn because it's in a high visibility area," said Shepherd. "People can look as they pass and see the vegetables and fruit growing. That way people are enticed to ask us about the garden."

As the day progressed, many passersby asked about the project details and how they could be a part of the garden.

"We were able to show them what we're doing and at the same time recruit more volunteers," said Mrs. Goins. 

That morning, volunteers cleared the area in front of the Sonlight Inn and built a retaining wall for the soil. The next phases of the project include filling the area with soil and planting seeds in the Wolf Pack Garden.
"This garden could be a first of its kind, and it's all due to the support of our leadership and the enthusiasm from folks at the Chapel," said Goins.

If you would like to take part in helping build Wolf Pack Garden, contact the 8th FW Chapel at 782-4300.

For more information on the m-Neat program visit: http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcphc/health-promotion/healthy-eating/Pages/m-neat.aspx.