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Monday, January 14, 2013

Raise Some Funds for Your Community Garden

This is the perfect time to raise money for a community garden. Even with our warmer than ever winter, there is not a lot to do in the garden and many days are too cold, too damp or too windy to spend time in the garden. So it is a great time for planning or ordering seeds or plants and finding the money to pay for all of those plans and plants. A few grant announcements have come my way in the past week which I will pass along.

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has partnered with the Darden Restaurants Foundation to make available grants  for community gardens that benefit families and individuals of low-income status. This would be a great opportunity to obtain funds to help build or expand a community garden that fosters stewardship and outdoor activity while donating the produce to those in need. The grants will range from $2,500 to $7,500 and will be awarded to 10 communities.

The application deadline is Wednesday, February 6, 2013 and you can find out more about the grant and benefits of community gardens here.

All About the Fruits and Veggies Grant Program
Sponsor: Jamba Juice & the National Gardening Association

Please contact the National Gardening Association's Kids Gardening for more information and to apply for this funding:

The All About the Fruits and Veggies grant program will provide youth garden initiatives with gardening supplies, curriculum, soil amendments, and plants to help create engaging nutrition and gardening experiences.

Awards of $500 worth of materials will be granted to forty youth and school garden programs. Schools, community organizations, and nonprofit gardening programs with at least fifteen children between the ages of 3 and 18 are eligible to apply.

Deadline: February 18, 2013

For New York City groups:
Have a Great Idea for a Community Project?

Through their Community Grants , Citizens Committee awards grants of $500-$3,000 to resident-led groups to work on community and school improvement projects addressing issues that they identiy as important to them.

Projects that have been funded in the past are as varied as community gardening, theater and fine arts, nutrition awareness, composting, beautification, tenant organizing, youth education, physical fitness, public safety, and more.

Read their grant guidelines and download the application . The application deadline is January 31, 2013


These are just a few grant opportunities but there are many more possibilities. Most areas have garden clubs that disburse funds for different types of projects including community gardens. There are local sources including local related businesses like garden centers, hardware stores, banks or grocery stores. The important first step is to decide what you want to do with the funds. It could be money for events, a toolshed, tools to put in the shed, printing costs for flyers, plants or seeds. Create a letter stating the need and the expected results. Now you are ready to find those funds. It may not happen right away but from my experience planning ahead and being ready with the ask means that when the opportunity presents itself, you can take advantage.

A good resource to help if you are just getting started or want to gather good information to add to your letter or grant proposal is a new fact sheet from the Local Government Commission, Cultivating Community Gardens .  The folks who get the help are the ones who ask. So don't be afraid to ask. 


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  2. Thank you for sharing this information. My neighborhood has been participating in a communal gardening program for a few years now. We are trying to get a shed, so we can more effectively share. I've been looking into shed prices for them, so we can hopefully get one for this year. I hope more communities take part in these programs. It is truly wonderful.