Amanda McCall

Amanda McCall smiles at the Zion Integrated Behavioral Health Services' table at the park. September is National Recovery Month. Stop by Produce in the Park and write a card of support to someone celebrating recovery!

Produce in the Park has been “Growing Community Connections” this year by highlighting local groups at the park and the resources, activities, and opportunities they offer. September is both Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and National Recovery Month, and mental health and substance misuse were both identified as top health needs in the 2021 Cass County Community Health Needs Assessment. Senior Life Solutions Director Karmen Roland shares that suicide is on the rise in rural communities, including here in Cass County, but we know that access to community resources and decreasing the stigma of discussing mental health can help our local friends and neighbors overcome this statistic! So, this week at the park, we have a special focus: we are growing a supportive community.

Growing a supportive community means we have access to the resources and information we need when someone is struggling or in crisis, but it also means that we enjoy spending time together. Come to the park this week to learn how you can support friends and community members who are struggling and have fun!

• Zion Integrated Behavioral Health Services will be at the park with resources, services, and support for substance use disorders, problem gambling, and mental health needs, and will be offering information on Naloxone, a lifesaving medication that can help people experiencing an opioid overdose. Stop by Zion’s table at the park to write a card to someone celebrating recovery this fall. That’s an accomplishment worth congratulating!

• Senior Life Solutions, Cass County PROSPER, and Cass County Iowa State University Extension will be at the park sharing ideas about how to help friends and loved ones in situations where stress relief is needed. Senior Life Solutions is a Cass Health group counseling program designed to meet the unique needs of adults over the age of 65 struggling with depression and anxiety often related to aging, and Program Director Karmen Roland points out that Cass County is fortunate to have resources to help where other communities may not. Stop by the booth for resources, but don’t forget to spin the prize wheel!

We don’t have to talk about mental health or substance misuse to grow a supportive community. Sharing good times and building connections also makes a difference. In addition to the organizations mentioned previously, this week at the park you’ll find:

• Atlantic Parks and Recreation with yard games and art in the park crafts;

• Cass County Master Gardeners talking mums and other fall plants;

• Atlantic Rock Island Society Enterprise (ARISE) sharing information on what they’re up to and an upcoming open house at the American Legion Memorial Building (“the Armory”); and

• Advanced Services Inc. (AS Inc.) sharing information on job openings and staffing services.

More Produce in the Park September 16 Highlights:

Fresh Local Produce: Tomatoes, peppers, carrots, melons, winter squash, okra, eggplant, potatoes, aronia berries, & more!

Farm treats: granola, honey, goat meat, jams, jellies, and syrups.

Craft Highlights: Fall-scented candles, soaps, and wax-melts; goat milk lotions and soaps; and corn hole beanbag sets for tailgating and yard games.

Free produce samples for everyone sponsored by the Cass County Local Food Policy Council: Try cherry tomatoes in red, yellow, purple, and yellow and red striped, and vote for your favorite!

Sept. 16 $15 Park Packs- Fajitas and Mexican Rice! Sept. 16 Park Packs by Erickson Foods and Brun Ko Farm include ingredients and recipes for fajitas and Mexican rice. Park Packs can be pre-ordered from Brun Ko Farm at or purchased from Brun Ko Farm at the market as supplies last. Park Packs are a collaboration between Erickson Foods and Brun Ko Farm.

Guest Chef samples and recipes: Park Pack Fajitas

Eat at the Market: Burgers, hotdogs, fresh-squeezed lemonade, popcorn, and more!

Entertainment: Local Favorite Sarah Selders live!

Various Payment Methods Accepted:

• SNAP EBT (also known as food stamps) accepted by all qualifying food vendors.

• Double Up Food Bucks accepted by all fresh produce vendors.

Produce in the Park 2021 September farmers markets are sponsored in part by Cass Health, the Atlantic Community Promotion Commission, First Whitney Bank & Trust, and the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce.

Stay up to date on the latest with Produce in the Park by signing up for the Produce in the Park newsletter at, and following Produce in the Park on Facebook @ProduceInThePark and Instagram @ProduceInTheParkAtlanticIA.

Additional Upcoming Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and National Recovery Month Events in Cass County:

• National Recovery Month Community Event

o When: September 25 from 12-4 PM

o Where: Schildberg Recreation Area, West Shelter, 102 Buck Creek Rd, Atlantic, IA 50022

o Host: Zion Integrated Behavioral Health Services

o What to expect: This free event is for anyone supporting Recovery or wanting to learn about Recovery in Cass County. Everyone is welcome. Kid friendly. Expect fun and food!

• Suicide Community Awareness Walk

o When: September 29 6:30 PM

o Where: Schildberg Recreation Area, West Shelter, 102 Buck Creek Rd, Atlantic, IA 50022

o Hosts: Senior Life Solutions, Cass Health, Healthy Cass County, Cass County Iowa State University Extension, Cass County PROSPER

o What to expect: A free community gathering and walk with resources and fall snacks. Local speakers will share how suicide has touched their lives.

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