Thyme to spread happiness

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Anabel Del Valle
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Get ready for a healthier vibe to grow around Tyndall Air Force Base, as the Community Action Team works to spread a more resilient and healthy mindset through resiliency gardens.

The Community Action Team, made up of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office, the Health Promotion office, and the Community Support Coordinator, began planting in hopes to bring some extra positivity to base as the installation goes through a massive rebuild.

“There has been so much progress with the rebuild but we have a long way to go,” said Corey Breingan, 325th Fighter Wing community support coordinator. “The resilience gardens are a great celebration on how far we have come, along with the growth and change still to come. Our hope is that when you are walking into or out of a building with a garden, you may pause and notice the good things happening. Enjoy the garden and be encouraged by it. Then, bring that attitude into the next part of your day.”

The gardens are growing in planters outside the Fitness Center, the Commissary, and the Medical Group. Fresh herbs such as rosemary, lemon balm, thyme and mint were among those chosen to be planted based on Tyndall’s climate. The gardens also have positive messages posted to encourage a smile as one walks into a high traffic area of base.

“Resilience is important, because it gives people the strength needed to process and overcome hardship,” said Robert Pagenkopf, 325th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron health promotion coordinator. “Those lacking resilience get easily overwhelmed and may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms. We are living in these stressful, unprecedented times and if viewing these gardens can shift mindsets and increase positivity, this will spread happiness to all.”

Resiliency is essential to Tyndall’s mission of projecting unrivaled combat air power as Airmen and their families must maintain healthy habits to continue supporting the mission in the best way possible.

As part of the Community Action Teams effort to encourage healthy habits, all of the herbs grown are planned to be available for individuals to take home as the Health Promotion office is planning to offer fresh herbs through base-wide messaging and during health classes.

“We will provide educational materials, recipes and healthy cooking demonstrations,” said Pagenkopf. “Herbs were chosen to be planted to encourage and educate about use of fresh ingredients in recipes.”

Two more gardens are in the works to be placed outside the fighter wing headquarters and the dormitories.  The end goal for the Community Action Team is a robust community garden in a common area, pushing a resilient and healthier mindset for the installation of the future.

For information on how to sponsor a garden, advocate for a garden outside of a specific building, or volunteer to assist in caretaking efforts, contact the Health Promotion office at 850-283-7100.