Traverse City Record-Eagle

August 11, 2011

Advisory issued on Little Artshram


— TRAVERSE CITY — Grand Traverse County’s Health Department issued a health advisory today for anyone associated with the Little Artshram Summer Camp or the organization’s community garden.

Health department officials advise parents to watch their children for diarrhea, stomach cramps, bloody stools, vomiting or fever due to of concerns about Little Artshram’s handling and disposal of human excrement and urine. Parents are advised to seek medical help if their children have experienced any of the symptoms in the past two weeks.

Children at Little Artshram used a bucket as a toilet which camp officials said they later buried in portions of the garden used for flowers or trees.

“It’s simply not a hygienic environment for children, and I am very concerned,” said Fred Keeslar, health department director.

Private gardeners who use the community garden also are advised to wash any produce thoroughly and monitor their health for similar symptoms of stomach illness.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture seized Little Artshram’s eight garden plots and a charity garden because of concerns about uncomposted horse manure used as fertilizer for the vegetable garden. Those who rent plots from Little Artshram were allowed to keep their vegetables, but were warned about the potential for disease if they used manure supplied by Little Artshram.

Families or gardeners with questions about the advisory can contact the Grand Traverse County Health Department at (231) 922 2718.