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Monarch's community garden in New Bern a winner of NC Beautiful initiative

Health Drive day program receives 50 azalea bushes for community garden

Azalea delivery pic2The Monarch Ability Garden Integrating Community and Land (M.A.G.I.C.A.L.) project in New Bern was recently selected by NC Beautiful, WRAL-TV5 and Capitol Broadcasting to receive a prize of 50 azaleas.

The award is part of NC Beautiful’s 29th annual Azalea Celebration, which rewards North Carolina groups and organizations for improving their communities through creative landscape projects.

The M.A.G.I.C.A.L.  initiative is located at Monarch’s Health Drive Day Program, which provides service and support for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in New Bern. The program serves approximately 60 people and was created as a place to promote sustainable gardening, community engagement, healthy habits, and increased physical activity for people with disabilities and citizens of Craven County.

“We are so grateful with the awarding of these plants that will provide further enhancement of the beautiful and  tranquil setting at the garden, where people are encouraged to visit and integrate with the people we support, creating meaningful new relationships,” said Eileen Bress, volunteer and community coordinator at Monarch.

Bress said the plants from the Azalea Celebration will complement the garden by providing year-round greenery for the arbor walkway.  

The annual Azalea Celebration, developed and administered by NC Beautiful and sponsored by WRAL-TV5 and Mix 101.5 Radio, in Raleigh, has awarded more than 230 plants to approximately 3,500 non-profits in its 29-year history.
For over 40 years, NC Beautiful has focused on merit-based programs that provide hands-on experience in preserving resources and promoting constructive action toward environmental challenges.


Established in 1958, Monarch is a non-profit organization that provides support statewide to thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance use challenges. The agency is nationally accredited by The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) and certified by The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services as a Critical Access Behavioral Health Agency (CABHA). Monarch operates The Arc of Stanly County, which is a chapter of The Arc of North Carolina and The Arc of the United States. To learn more about how Monarch provides support for people, please call (866) 272-7826 or visit

Pictured (l-r): Lovay Singleton, executive director of the Veterans Organic Garden, Fred Culley, who attend Monarch's Health Drive day program, and John Smith, a developmental specialist at Monarch. Monarch donated six of its azalea bushes to the Veterans Organic Garden. 

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