Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge

Hillsborough County’s Garden Steps project is one of the fifty finalists for the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge, a two-year competition to “support communities in their collaborative efforts to become healthier places to live, work, learn, play and pray”. Garden Steps focuses on the built environment, with our goal to improve community health by supporting active transportation through a system of community gardens and the growth of three new gardens in areas with low access to healthy food. The success of this project relies on making a measurable impact here in our community, and identifying collaborative models that can be sustained and recreated in other parts of the United States.

Garden Steps is a collaboration between the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization, Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission, Department of Health in Hillsborough County, the City of Tampa, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority, and the Community Garden Coalition. By increasing pedestrian, bicycle and transit access between a network of community gardens, we believe that we will see a measurable improvement in health and social outcomes such as improved nutrition, reduced hunger, chronic disease prevention, and improved behavior in school among youth.

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Learn more about the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge and Hillsborough County’s entry by visiting