Garden Club Salon’s tagline: camaraderie + gardens = a beautiful community
Gardening, conservation and beautification organizations can learn from each other.
Below, we recognize and promote some recent group accomplishments. Read them and you may also gain ideas for funding activities and collaborations for your own organization.
News items listed were found through the most recent month’s newsfeeds. Updates will appear on or about the first of each month for a limited time.
If your organization has made a difference with a community project in the past month, send a press release or published media url link, to email@example.com and efforts will be made to include it.
Carroll County, MD — The Chesapeake Bay Foundation put a call out for volunteers to help plant 13,000 native trees. While the Foundation expected about 100 volunteers to respond, they got 140 and by noon on the given day the job was complete. (The holes for the trees had been dug the previous day.) The trees were planted for their deep roots to help prevent flash runoff. The objective is to have cleaner water in the bay and to help the native-trout stream. The trees will also help a local reservoir which supplies drinking water in the Baltimore area. The planting was the first that the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has performed through a partnership with Washington Gas Energy Services and its built-in percentage for carbon offsets. The Foundation is planning additional projects. [explorecarroll.com]
Sunnyvale, CA — Ponderosa Elementary School recently unveiled a reading garden outside its library honoring the school’s former principal, Polly McBride, who was instrumental in building the school’s reading and writing programs. Parents made donations totaling $2,500. The school’s PTA matched the funds in order to meet the costs of irrigation. Parents did much of the physical labor. A parent did the plumbing for irrigation. Teachers and students from the nearby high school rototilled the soil, an Eagle Scout built raised planter boxes, and Home Depot delivered soil materials at a discounted price. Fifth-grade girls in a local Girl Scout Troop went on to paint the campus’ 18 garbage cans with slogans encouraging people to throw away their trash after the garden became littered with ice cream wrappers. [mercurynews.com]
Richardson, TX — A Richardson “Tree the Town” initiative to plant 50,000 trees is under consideration. The goal is to have the trees paid for by corporate donors. Volunteers will plant them and charitable sponsors will pay for their upkeep. A City Council candidate is questioning the initiative due to maintenance costs—watering, pruning and staking of 6,000 trees on city property—and whether the ultimate costs have been sufficiently estimated. The city has already planted more than 7,000 trees, 635 of which are on public property. Other cities in North Texas will be starting similar programs soon. [nbcdfw.com]
Allentown, PA — The Delaware River was named Pennsylvania’s 2011 River of the Year in January through a public vote. The honor is designated to a Commonwealth river annually by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources + the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers. This program raises awareness of the overall significance of rivers and the importance of stewardship.
The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), along with its partners on the 2011 Delaware River Sojourn and Pennsylvania 2011 River of the Year (ROY) steering committees launched a contest for the necessary artwork and promotional materials. The Delaware River Sojourn is in its 17th year. It is an eight-day paddling trip held in June. [examiner.com]
Miami, FL — For four years, the Education Fund has been piloting an effort to use edible gardens as outdoor learning labs where children are inspired to eat healthier while learning math and science. Children plant, maintain, and harvest their very own vegetable garden, but they think the best part of the program is the kids get to eat what they plant. [cbs4.com]
Whittier, CA — The Year Around Garden Club of Whittier has bought eight Penny Pines Plantations in the Angeles Oaks area this past year to support the Penny Pines program of the U.S. Forest Service. This program provides a plantation of 350 seedlings which are planted and maintained by forest service volunteers under the U.S. Forest Service Reforestation Program. The plantations are given to honor a club member or purchased by members to honor a loved one. [whittierdailynews.com]
Brainerd, MN — A community garden has been given conceptual approval by the Brainerd City Council. The idea for a community garden was initiated in 2009 by members of the Blandin Community Leadership Program training program and is currently being spearheaded by the Community Garden Committee made up of representatives of the Lakes Area Senior Activity Center, Brainerd Rotary and Sertoma clubs, Master Gardeners, FFA Alumni and the Brainerd Parks and Recreation Department. Its location was selected because a tree nursery was once located there. It has rich soil and a city water source is next to the site. There are no residences in the immediate area and the site is on a gated dead-end road and there is ample parking along the road. The committee will be submitting a grant application to the Statewide Health Improvement Program to fund start-up infrastructure costs such as 8’ fencing to keep out animals and lumber to make raised plots to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. Any applicant who fails to maintain their plot will lose it.
Also in the news, the Brainerd Rotary Club announced its intention to seek a grant to purchase 37 acres along the river south of Kiwanis Park to be used as a passive park. If funding can be found and the land purchased, Rotary would donate the land to the city. [brainerddispatch.com]
Los Angeles, CA — Dole Food Company of Westlake Village, CA works with schools to provide both urban gardens and in-school salad bars. The company has a program that supports gardens and greening in underserved urban schools across Los Angeles–a city with one of the highest childhood obesity rates in the nation. (According to Centers for Disease Control, at least 14% of Los Angeles’ student population is considered obese.) The initiative is meant to encourage a healthy lifestyle in children that will carry over into adulthood.
New York, NY — New York City’s Housing Authority has a Garden and Greening Program, now in its 49th year. It has provided free planting materials and hands-on help to 1,260 adults and 1,548 kids who tend to 645 gardens in city developments. In the Bronx, 170 adults and 180 children care for 85 vegetable and flower gardens. The program was inspired by a similar one in Chicago, and is open to all public housing residents and features a popular annual garden contest. The organizers are aware that in addition to improving air quality and reducing storm water runoff, the gardening program yields social benefits, familial and intergenerational benefits as well. One participant commented about including her grandchildren in the gardening experience. “They love it,” she said. “If you watch their faces, you see the love and respect for the beautiful things. I feel I planted a seed in them.[articles.nydailynews.com]
Concord, MA — As part of its second annual Harvest Grants program, Welch’s recently announced the 100 elementary schools nationwide who will receive $1000 gardening grants. The program, a collaboration of Welch’s® + ScholasticParent & Child® magazine + the National Gardening Association, provides children the opportunity to learn the importance of incorporating fruits and vegetables into their diet and gain a heightened awareness of what they eat and where it comes from by planting, tending, and eventually harvesting their own fruits and vegetables at school.
“Of the schools that participated in last year’s program and incorporated gardening into their school’s curriculum, an amazing 17% reported an improvement in test scores,” notes Mike Metallo, president of National Gardening Association. “The grants provide an opportunity for families to incorporate healthy eating into their daily lives year round, and we believe that this program is already having a positive impact on the eating behaviors of families across America.”
Welch’s has long been an active proponent of nutrition education and discovery, investing in over a decade’s worth of research on the emerging heart health benefits of Concord grape juice. Having the opportunity to eat fresh produce from the garden helps students make better food choices and promotes healthy lifestyles. One school, for instance has older students study the nutritional value of crops while younger students taste-test a variety of produce and compare and contrast to supermarket fruits and vegetables.
To date, 200 schools have been recognized as Welch’s Harvest Grants award winners. Since the program’s inception in 2009, more than 21,000 schools reaching an estimated 630,000 families have been touched by the Harvest Grants program messages. For complete details, go to www.scholastic.com/harvest. For more information on Welch’s, visit www.welchs.com. To learn more about National Gardening Association and its Kids Garden program visit http://www.garden.org and http://www.kidsgardening.org. [marketwire.com]
Raleigh, NC — NC Beautiful, a provider of environmental education and beautification opportunities that elevate the quality of life of North Carolinians, has announced the contribution of two $1,000 Windows of Opportunity Grants to Durham County educators by Town & Country Garden Club of Durham. Windows of Opportunity Grants reward NC educators for their creativity in fostering environmental stewardship, leadership, and awareness and initiating a sense of community service. The goal of the program is to help ensure that our educators have the resources they need in order to help this and future generations keep North Carolina beautiful.
With its grant, for instance, George Watts Montessori School transformed an unused patch of land into a fruit garden. Students prepared the soil, planted raspberries bushes, strawberries, mint, bee balm and prepared the soil for several trees. At another, Southern High School, students used its grant to plant and cultivate vegetables in a newly-built green house, which was provided by its Green Club. The students used the area for many learning experiences such as collecting soil temperature data and comparing temperatures inside and outside of the greenhouse. They participated in harvesting their crop and even sold some produce to staff.
Town & Country Garden Club was organized September 19, 1964 and has worked for the betterment of their community and state. Through fundraising events, the club has financed many projects and contributions including scholarships for horticulture students, the purchase and installation of a cistern collection system at the Durham Farmer’s Market, a beautification project at Durham’s Community Family Life & Recreation Center at Lyon Park, and a beautification project in Durham’s historic Hope Valley neighbor.
Windows of Opportunity Grants build leadership awareness, develop environmental educational mentors and ambassadors, create materials and resources that can be used by other K-12 students, and develop a sustainable, outdoor program, which will continue well after the grant period ends.
NC Beautiful (ncbeautiful.org) has been part of the state’s environmental preservation community for 40 years, supporting awareness, education and beautification efforts that affect our quality of life. “Today, we concentrate on hands-on and merit-based programs designed to empower our citizens to preserve the natural beauty of the state of North Carolina. Whether it is school children building outdoor classrooms, graduate students developing cutting-edge research, or a Boy Scout troop planting azaleas at an elder care facility, we make it possible for North Carolinians to keep NC Beautiful.” [newswiretoday.com]
West Valley City, UT — New Roots of Utah has unveiled an expansive community garden–1.5 acres–that will supply both garden plots and entrepreneurial training to refugees in the area. The farm is a collaboration between Salt Lake County + Utah Refugee Coalition + the International Rescue Committee + GE Capital + First Utah Bank. The estimated cost of building the refugee farm is $30,000. The refugee farm will offer dozens of traditional gardens, as well as four quarter-acre micro farms that will teach immigrants from countries such as Burma, Ethiopia, Burundi and Bhutan how to grow, market and sell their crops locally.
The vision is not only to feed refugees by giving them a place to plant vegetables, but also to empower them to start a business using the agricultural skills they acquired before coming to the United States. They are engaged in something they know how to do. The New Roots of Utah initiative already has 90 garden plots for refugees at five separate locations. The new farm will add 36 gardens to that inventory, including several raised planter beds surrounded by concrete for people with disabilities. According to the Utah Refugee Office, more than 8,000 refugees came to Utah between the years 2000 and 2009. [scrippsnews.com]
Portland, OR — The Urban League of Portland + the African Women’s Coalition joined to construct a new urban garden. It will provide 30 African and African American families in the neighborhood of N. Albina and Beech with fresh affordable vegetables. [portlandonline.com]
San Francisco, CA — YardShare.com has announced its “Celebrating Gardens” Contest. The winner will receive a $1000 gift certificate to Greenwood Nursery as most unique garden in honor of National Gardening Month in April. Online voting. [prweb.com]
Maine — The Maine State Planning Office, through its Waste Management & Recycling Program, is announcing the availability of competitive grant funds to municipalities interested in implementing or expanding their municipal recycling and composting efforts. This grant program helps municipal recycling programs to capture more materials, with a focus on corrugated cardboard and leaf and yard debris composting operations. Approximately $300,000 is available with individual grant awards not exceeding $25,000. A local match at least 15% of the total grant amount is required. [maine.gov]
Also in Maine — Conservation officials are offering grants to Maine schools to plant trees on school grounds as part of the 2011 Arbor Week celebration and to give recognition to Maine’s forest industry—Project Canopy. Twenty grants of up to $1,000 each in honor of Maine’s Arbor Week May 16 to 20. Funding for the program comes from the USDA Forest Service-Urban and Community Forestry Program and corporate sponsors. [boston.com]
Falmouth, MA — The Falmouth Fund of the Cape Cod Foundation announced it has made its second grant distribution of $21,840. This is an increase over the $15,890 the Falmouth Fund distributed in 2010. The Falmouth Fund grants support organizations serving the community of Falmouth. Many philanthropic organizations received grant money including the Falmouth Garden Club which received $340 to replace the window boxes at the Falmouth bus depot. [capecodtoday.com]
Columbia, SC — Columbia officials plan to manage a series of community gardens across the city. Officials have identified six city properties that could be used for community gardens, and plan to set up an office to help people navigate through the city’s zoning boards if they want to set up their own community garden somewhere else.
Residents can lease 5 x 12 foot lots, the city will provide soil, compost and water for $20 a year. Gardeners provide the seeds and labor. [thestate.com]
Various states (US) — Wholesale multi-season azalea supplier, Encore Azalea, is offering a City Restoration contest to communities in 17 states. Winner will receive new plants to spruce up. Contest requires photo submissions, statement and details about site irrigation. Deadline is March 29, 2011 with winner announced April 5. [businesswire.com]
Torrance, CA — The California Native Plant Society has provided seeds to the biology and environmental science AP classes at West High School which students will cultivate in campus greenhouses. They have a modest budget that will help buy more plants that attract pollinators, along with ground covers. $1,500 was secured (including a $500 principal’s award) and a recent $1,000 was granted through Project Learning Tree, an education program of the American Forest Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service. For most of the academic year, the West High students will do their gardening work after school. [dailybreeze.com]
Ft. Pierce, FL — Once a month School Beautification Day takes place where students gather trash, scrape off gum, pull weeds and lay down mulch and earn community service hours doing so. The staff offers that this is a great way to get students involved in helping their community and school. “We are going to continue this newly found tradition and work on placing recycling bins around the school as well.” [tcpalm.com]
Panama City, FL — Panama City Garden Club is leading the effort to clean up, paint up and fix up the city. This year, they are putting a focus on Beach Drive, the scenic roadway that takes travelers along the St. Andrew Bay coastline. “The ultimate goal is just the opportunity to promote pride in our environment and communities,” said Mary Sue Boles, part of the Operation Cinderella committee that organizes the cleanup. The initiative was started 55 years ago with a grant from the Sears Corporation. That money is no longer provided, but the self-help program continues on, she said. The month long campaign coincides with the Garden Club’s Azalea Trail pageant, scheduled this year for March 27. [newsherald.com]
Old Saybrook, CT —This spring the Old Saybrook Garden Club is offering a $1,000 scholarship to an Old Saybrook public or private high school senior or an undergraduate student at an accredited two- or four-year college or university. The applicant must plan to pursue a course of study in botany, city planning, conservation, forestry, horticulture, land management, landscape design or any other field of environmental science. [theday.com]
St. Louis, MO — Gov. Jay Nixon and First Lady Georgeanne Nixon helped launch the 10,000 Gardens Challenge, an effort to get people to plant their veggies and fruits. As people plant gardens the Governor wants them to log onto www.AgriMissouri.com to register their horticultural efforts, with the goal of reaching 10,000. Number one and number two are attributed to the Governor’s mansion and the Dept. of Agriculture. While promoting gardening for health reasons, the 10,000 Gardens Challenge will also give the state’s garden and landscape industry a boost. “The garden and landscape industry represents $3.4 billion to the state.” [stltoday.com]
N. St. Paul/Maplewood/Oakdale, MN — A new 6800 sq. foot community garden will open this spring. Community members may participate as follows: Families or individuals can purchase 10 x 10 garden plots for $30 each. Individuals can work with other gardeners in a 1,725-square-foot community plot for $20. About 60 percent of the harvest will go to local food shelves, the remaining 40 percent will be divided among the gardeners. Residents can adopt one of the perennial gardens currently on the site. Or they can work to restore the orchard. Income collected will be used to pay for water, fencing and garden start-up costs. [startribune.com]
Boise, ID — The Idaho Humanities Council, the non-profit, state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, has awarded $85,096—28 grants for public humanities programs, 10 Teacher Incentive Grants, and three planning grants. Among the recipients were the The Idaho Botanical Gardens, $1,535, to host a 2011 summer lecture series; The College of Idaho-Caldwell, received $1000 for environmental guest lectures; and Boise High School teacher received $1000 for a two-day teacher workshop titled “Tasting what’s New: Idaho School Gardens and the Local Food Movement.” The workshop will provide background information and motivation for teachers to implement curricula exploring the culture of locally grown food and school gardens. [idahostatesman.com]
San Luis Obispo, CA — The San Luis Obispo Downtown Association recently awarded honors to more than two dozen businesses at its 24th Annual Beautification Awards Breakfast. The awards are given to those businesses that have made physical or aesthetic improvements in 2010. The Downtown Association’s Design Committee oversaw the process, from selecting the candidates to presenting the awards in categories including new construction, tenant improvements, signs, maintenance, art and green awards. [sanluisobispo.com/tribune]
North Memphis, TN — On Saturday March 19, members of the greater Memphis community are invited to unite for a day of service, community clean up. Volunteers will collect debris, rake grass, pick up trash and pull weeds. The clean-up is part of NMCDC’s mission to change the face of the North Memphis Community and to “Build a better place to live, work, and play.” Recently, NMCDC constructed several new houses on Caldwell for low income families. The location was been chosen as part of an ongoing effort to beautify the area. “Several vacant lots have fallen into disarray. We are working to change that image! . . . The beautification and preservation of our community is going to take the help of everyone . . . Everyone in the general Memphis area is invited! Volunteers are encouraged to bring insect repellent, gloves and a willing heart,” Executive Director Cornelius Sanders explains. [commercialappeal.com]
Nashville, TN — Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, Kroger, Metro Public Works + the Metro Beautification and Environment have joined forces to award Nashville residents a $50 Kroger gift card if they’re ‘caught’ recycling the right way. “Recycle and Win” kicks off at the beginning of April and runs for six months. Single-family households in Metro’s Urban Services District (USD) will soon receive an educational mailer with images highlighting which materials should go in their green recycling bins. The mailer also contains a ‘Give it Back’ sticker, which residents must place on their bin for a chance to win a $50 Kroger gift card. [foodbev.com]
Springfield, OH — A community garden started in Urbana has been a success and others would like to participate. But sponsors are needed to expand. In its second year, The Market Street Community Garden was designed to help provide Urbana residents with the opportunity to learn about gardening and grow their own food. There is room to double the amount of beds available, but sponsors are needed to provide funding to build them. The cost to install a raised bed, which includes a gravel base, cinder block, top soil and a weed barrier is $325. [springfieldnewssun.com]
Sacramento, CA — Residents near Sacramento’s Land Park have spent the last year in monthly work parties after the city’s slashed parks budget (slashed by 60% and maintenance staff numbers cut in half) left overflowing garbage cans, un-pruned bushes and murky ponds. Craig Powell, president of the Land Park Volunteer Corps says “Rather than sitting around and moaning about it, I take enough pride in the neighborhood to do something about it.” By way of a free workshop, the group hopes to inspire others to organize and take ownership of all the city’s 220 parks. The group founded the volunteer corps last year, sending out 1,000 letters to Land Park-area residents. About 80 people attended the first work party May 1, and the group raised $10,000 for tools, plants and materials as well as food and water for volunteers. Subsequent work parties brought out 55 to 90 people. Projects have included pruning bushes, staking trees, maintaining planter beds, cleaning ponds, picking up litter and cutting back ivy in the parks. [sacbee.com]
Illinois — The University of Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) is now accepting applications for the 2011 Governor’s Sustainability Awards. The Center, in cooperation with the Office of the Governor, has honored organizations for their efforts in sustainability and pollution prevention since 1987. This is a competitive award, and successful applicants will provide detailed, creative, and compelling descriptions of significant activities whose benefits encompass the three aspects of sustainability: environment, society, and economy. Any Illinois public or private organization is eligible to apply for an award. [istc.illinois.edu]
U.S. — MillerCoors + River Network, a national non-profit focused on water quality, today announced the recipients of more than $50,000 in grants to be used towards watershed protection and quality. The winning organizations were chosen by the public through an online voting competition in which more than 20,000 people cast votes for one of six local non-profits over a one month voting period. North Carolina Big Sweep of Zebulon received the most votes and will be awarded the largest grant of $30,000. Big Sweep will allocate the funds towards a statewide cleanup effort and also to implement a litter awareness campaign to help improve water quality in all 100 counties in North Carolina. Johnson Creek Watershed Council of Milwaukie, Oregon, came in second and will receive $10,000. The third place vote-recipient, River Revitalization Foundation of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will receive $5,000. The three remaining finalists will each receive $3,000. More information on MillerCoors commitment to sustainable development and water stewardship can be found on GreatBeerGreatResponsibility.com. [prweb.com]
Shawnee, KS — The Garden Club of Shawnee recently awarded grant funding for gardening projects that match the club’s objectives: to promote general gardening cultural interests, to beautify the community and to increase awareness of environmental issues. The $2,000 grant fund was distributed among 10 winning applicants including a number of schools for establishing a rain garden, purchasing of compost and supplies, lumber for raised beds, seeds, plants, bulbs, and the creation of a butterfly garden. [shawneedispatch.com]
San Diego, CA — On Friday, the San Diego Association of Governments approved a $50,000 grant for the city’s planning department to fund law changes that will make gardens easier to establish on most vacant land citywide. The money will pay for staff to prepare an ordinance for the City Council. The planning department will also use the money to partner with local nonprofits to educate residents about community gardens. The $50,000 was part of $16 million in federal dollars to support healthy community planning in San Diego County (a common way the federal government funds national initiatives on a local level). Fresh food advocates have often said the city’s stringent restrictions on community gardens have made local applicants less competitive for grant money that would support them. Funders are unlikely to award grants for community gardens in cities that don’t allow them. [voiceofsandiego.org]
Texas — Green Mountain Energy Company, the nation’s leading competitive retail provider of clean energy and carbon offset solutions, will be in Houston, Dallas, and McAllen during April to celebrate Earth Day by giving away free trees. Beginning April 1, the company will give away approximately 1,500 Red Oak Tree Liners and Live Oak trees to people attending Earth Day events. [prweb.com]
Boston, MA — Brandeis University passed a campus referendum to apply a student activity fee toward a Sustainability Fund. The fund will support five student-generated ideas: smart meters for campus buildings, increasing the size of the campus gardens, installation of a micro-turbine, expansion of a bike-sharing program, and installation of vermiculture bins as part of a pilot “Green Residence” program in one residence hall. [examiner.com]
Riverside, UK — A local Riverside environmental team called ‘Your Place’ offers a range of services to local housing tenants. Three “operatives” make up a team helping to keep areas clean, green and safe. Services include graffiti removal, decorating of homes, dog-fouling patrol, removal of litter and fly tipping [illegal dumping], resolving abandoned and encroaching gardens issues. [24dash.com]
Portsmouth, NH — Through a monetary grant from the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership and labor donated by the city’s public works department — worth an estimated $10,000 combined — a rain garden is being created at Portsmouth High School by the Environmental Change Organization (ECO Club). The rain garden will be used for educational purposes while helping the local watershed. It will capture runoff from the school building and parking lot before it enters Sagamore Creek, an inlet stream from the Piscataqua River which is part of the endangered Great Bay watershed. The rain garden will serve PHS ecology students and others as a teaching lab for water testing, nutrient loading and filtration. ECO Club students will sample and monitor the water before and after the rain garden’s installation for documentation.
The Eco Club is also working on a number of other initiatives, including an Electracup Challenge with Oyster River, Winnacunnet and St. Thomas Aquinas high schools to see which can reduce the most electricity in a month. The group is also beginning efforts to bring solar panels to the high school. [seacoastonline.com]
Olympia WA — The city’s parks department is installing about 70 plots in a community garden at Yauger Park. The garden will be the city’s second community garden in a park. Due to high demand, five more gardens may be coming in the next six years. $65,000 will be set aside for the planned gardens over the next six years. The Yauger Park site will have about 60 beds that are 50 square feet each, and eight accessible beds that are 24 square feet each. The area will have access to water, but gardeners must be present to water plants. Synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers are prohibited. The cost is $25 a year for a standard plot or $12 for an ADA-accessible plot, which is limited to seniors or people who are physically disabled. [theolympian.com]
Bethlehem, PA — Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley (CACLV) announced The SUN*LV Community Garden Challenge for Spring 2011. CACLV will award up to $7,500 to a qualifying organization(s) to start a community garden on land that they control or own. They invite any local non-profit to submit an application for this funding. Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley (SUN*LV) is a volunteer working group of CACLV which works with groups to support and start new community gardens in neighborhoods across the Lehigh Valley. “The benefits of community gardens are tangible and far-reaching: from nutrition to economic development, from education to job training, from community building to environmental health.” [blogs.mcall.com]
Denver, CO — The non-profit Colorado Garden Show Inc. said it has given two grants to support garden and greenhouse programs in the metro area. Westminster High School will receive $100,000 from the non-profit to construct a greenhouse for the school’s horticulture program. Westminster High has a 3-acre tree farm. The greenhouse will be used to teach students basic water and water management skills, soil composition and chemistry, plant physiology, fertilizers and photosynthesis. Another $25,000 grant has been given to Concerts for Kids. The money will support a community garden and greenhouse at the Serenity Learning Center for children with autism in Centennial, and an organic community vegetable garden at one Denver Public Schools elementary school. [denverpost.com]
U.S. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging’ recognized communities that help reduce air pollution, reduce commutes, encourage economic vitality, improve people’s health and over quality of life through smart growth neighborhoods. Winners were Charlotte, NC; Brazos Valley Council of Governments, TX; Fairfax County, VA Dept. of Neighborhood and Community Services; and Philadelphia (PA) Corporation on Aging. [kbtx.com]
Tampa, FL — Southwest Florida Water Management District has awarded five area schools Splash! School Grants. Schools receiving up to $5000 are for projects such as field trips, teaching tools, water use tracking projects, and a hydroponics project, debris-waterway clean-up. [tbo.com]
Syracuse, NY — Syracuse City School District Educational Foundation has awarded 15 schools up to $7500 grants for a variety of “green” projects for teachers to carry out with students. [Syracuse.com]
Allegheny County, PA — Various communities have been chosen to participate in Allegheny County’s urban farming and community gardening program making use of vacant lots and blighted properties. The county is partnering with Grow Pittsburgh + Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. [wtae.com]
Brown County, WI — Got Dirt? Gardening Initiative is a program of the UW Extension in Brown County, Wisconsin. The initiative offers free training on basic gardening skills and help on how to obtain funding for supplies. The program aims to assist teachers in launching school gardens, with the premise that kids eat more of a variety of vegetables if they take part in growing them. [examiner.com]
Brunswick, GA — This city’s four-member Park and Tree Board has developed a “Tree-mendous Tree Contest.” Community residents can enter the largest of four species of trees on their property. The project is intended to educate the public about the importance of protecting trees for upcoming generations. The tree contest began Friday on Georgia’s Arbor Day and will run through National Arbor Day on April 29. Only four species – the live oak, eastern red cedar, southern magnolia and American sycamore – will be measured for the contest this year. Owners will be asked to estimate the diameter of their trees at 4 feet above soil level. Winners in each category will be recognized on National Arbor Day. “The city recognizes the importance of trees to the city’s image . . . we’re just trying to encourage people to take a look at what they have and maybe they will take better care of their trees because of it.” A similar contest has been held with Park Pride Atlanta. In the future Brunswick may expand the program to identify trees on public property and include other species. If trees are documented “significant” for their size or historical importance, the city can apply for state or federal funds to replace them should they be damaged in a natural disaster. The board is also in the process of adopting citywide ordinances to help protect trees, particularly with regard to removal for development. [jacksonville.com]
Ledyard, CT — The Ledyard Garden Club is offering a $1,200 scholarship for a student pursuing a major in horticulture or an environmentally related field. Eligible applicants must reside in Ledyard or attend Ledyard High School. Applications require an essay, two references and an interview. The Ledyard Garden Club encourages students to pursue careers in horticulture, floriculture, landscape design, forestry, botany, plant pathology, land management and other fields benefiting the environment. [TheDay.com]
El Segundo, CA — The “Tree Musketeers” will be planting 141 trees, varied species, to help create an urban forest to counteract the greenhouse effect. The project is supported in part by Northrop Grumman, funds and the company’s volunteer GreeNG employees to help dig. Other sponsors are Chevron, El Segundo Power, DirecTV. Tree Musketeers’ budget goal, which includes tree care expenses, is $68,000. The group spent one year organizing the current project. Tree Musketeers also oversees care for 1500 trees and relies on a truck equipped with a water tank. They seek local businesses willing to pitch in to reduce TM’s costs and vehicle trips. City councilmen have considered the added city expense of pruning of mature trees and sidewalk damage. Tree Museketeers’ current president is a high school sophomore. [dailybreeze.com]
Mahwah, NJ — In its fourth consecutive year, Cipriano Landscape Design has donated $10,000 to Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Departments of Landscape Architecture and Plant Biology and Pathology. The Keeping It Green Foundation scholarship money is designed to encourage students on their path towards a career in the green industry. The $10,000 in scholarships is awarded to students based on academic records, community activities and desire to pursue a career in the green industry. [prweb.com]
Tucson, AZ — The Intelligent Use of Water Awards fund water conservation and environmental sustainability projects that promote green spaces throughout the world. The grants are funded by Rain Bird, a Tucson-based irrigation-product provider.
Potential recipients submit projects online and promote them throughout the community. Rain Bird will award four $1,500 projects, three $5,000 projects, and three $10,000 projects with the most votes. [AZCentral.com]
Louisville, KY — In its second year, Adopt-a-Garden, the Louisville Zoo’s volunteer botanical gardening program allows over 18 individuals, families and groups to adopt specific garden sites throughout the Zoo. Signs will mark each garden site with the individual’s or group’s name. Participants are required to submit a plan for their area and will be responsible for planting the garden, weeding, watering and maintaining it throughout the growing season, including spring and fall bed clean up. Cost of plants will be at the volunteer’s expense or, with prior permission, plants can be brought in from volunteers’ own gardens. The cost of plants may be tax deductible. [whas11.com]
Boston, MA — The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center + the New England Clean Energy Council, announced details of a new $300,000 program linking students seeking internships with companies that are part of a sector that state government is subsidizing and looking to grow. Massachusetts-based clean energy companies looking to hire interns will be eligible for internship stipends of up to $15 an hour, or a total of $6,000, for up to ten weeks. cleanenergyeducation.org [masslive.com]
New Orleans, LA — Planters Peanuts + the Corps Network + landscape architect Ken Smith will turn abandoned land throughout the U.S. into green spaces “Naturally Remarkable”. Ground has been broken on the first green space in Central City, New Orleans. “Planters didn’t want to do a typical community garden, pocket park, or playground,” says Smith. The site will include a grove of 15 bald Cypress trees on a formal grid. Underneath, there will be three peanut-shaped spots–a garden space, rain garden, and a paved meeting place. The grove will also have benches, including one with a Mr. Peanut sculpture sitting to the side. Planters is also installing gutters on the roof of a house adjacent to the lot so that it can store run-off water in an above-ground rain barrel. “It will be enough water to irrigate the garden year-round,” says Smith. In the coming months, Planters will select sites to transform in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and New York. All of the green spaces will feature native plants from the legume family, a water garden, reclaimed materials (the New Orleans space uses recycled concrete, paving, and window sashes). The Corps Network is the organization behind 143 service and conservation corps in the U.S. [fastcompany.com]
Loveland, CO — Larimer County Youth Conservation Corps help Loveland Housing Authority Complex residents by installing compact fluorescent bulbs, water saving devices, weather stripping, etc. The city allocated $32,000 in 2011 for supplies. Youth gained work experience, residents collectively saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in utility bills. [thedenverchannel.com]
Columbus, OH — Columbus and Franklin County are offering grants totaling $68,725 to first-time community gardens. Groups can apply for up to $4,000 each through the Columbus Foundation at columbusfoundation.org. The deadline to submit an application is April 1, and the recipients will be announced on April 23 for Earth Day. Columbus granted $15,000 for community gardens last year and will distribute $30,000 this year. County officials are contributing the balance with federal funding. [dispatch.com]
Portland, ME — The Natural Resources Council of Maine held its second annual Polar Bear Plunge fundraiser. Forty persons took the plunge with more than $6000 pledged. The group started the event to raise awareness about global warming pollution. [boston.com]
Harford County, MD — The Harford County Dept. of Parks + Recreation has reinitiated their “Adopt-A-Park” program. The department is seeking individuals or organizations that want to help take pride in their community by getting outdoors to help keep parks, trails, playgrounds and sports fields beautiful. The Department is committed to enhancing the lives of its citizens through the provision of a diversified menu of leisure opportunities; the acquisition and protection of open space; the development, operation and management of adequate public recreation facilities; and the adherence to a strong environmental ethic. [examiner.com]
Whatcom, WA — The Nisqually Indian Tribe recently approved and presented Northwest Indian College a $75,500 grant to support and bolster training and education services for the promotion and maintenance of the cultural integrity of Native tribes.
The funds will be used for ongoing program activities for the college’s Traditional Plants and Foods Program. The program emphasizes lifestyle changes based on cultivating and harvesting traditional plants and foods and returning to more customary, healthy diets. [indiancountrytoday.com]
Middletown, OH — High School science teacher initiates a natural land lab — a natural space where students can conduct field research on school property. The plan is to let the grass grow, and not mow an area about 100 yards long and 40 yards wide. It will contain local flower species. The land lab will have no additional cost to the district. [middletownjournal.com]
Camarillo, CA — Camarillo Mayor Mike Morgan is working on plans for developing a botanical garden on a 4-acre lot next to the town library. If the council approves, several public forums would be held where residents and civic groups could provide opinions about planning, visions and fundraising for the garden. [vcstar.com]
Los Angeles, CA — Orville Wright Middle School + Environmental Change Makers. The initial idea was to construct a park on the school property with community beautification grant money obtained by the Westchester-Playa Education Foundation.
That plan was eventually changed to accommodate a public garden, but the grant money still will help fund the project. Other donations will include compost material from the nearby Vons [grocery] store and mulch from the city Bureau of Sanitation. Students would be able to access the area during the school day and the public access after hours. It would be tended by residents and overseen by the garden club. One goal is to strengthen the relationship between the students and the community. Volunteer labor during a series of community service work days and in-kind donated materials would be called on to install the garden. [dailybreeze.com]
Atlanta, GA — Georgia-Pacific (GP) has announced that it will no longer purchase trees from endangered forests and special areas, or from new pine plantations established at the expense of natural hardwood forests. Ninety million acres of Southern hardwood forests, along with 600,000 acres in 11 endangered forests and special areas in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Eco-Region will be more protected. GP is one of the largest wood and paper products companies operating in the Southern United States, and the Southern U.S. is the largest source of wood and paper production in the world. [planetsave.com]
Norwich, CT — Plans for Chelsea (Botanical) Gardens Foundation have been progressing for the past 15 years. The planned multimillion-dollar garden is to encompass 80 acres in Mohegan Park. A major capital campaign is to be presented to the public to fund the estimated $8 million “phase 1A.” The property has been leased for 15 years, master development plan has been written and environmental and traffic studies have been done. To finance these steps the foundation raised $750,000 through grants and donations. The group will apply for a wetlands buffer permit and a site development plan prior to the capital campaign. The botanical gardens will also include a gateway building with gardening school and ticket office, a 7200 square foot year round butterfly pavilion, maintenance facility, gift shop and food service facility. [theday.com]
Minneapolis, MN — The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is launching a lunchtime “book club-style” class series for 15 – 20 participants to explore the garden’s role in literature, from classic to contemporary. Selections will include “Gardens in the Dunes” by Leslie Marmon Silko, “Rappaccini’s Daughter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Kew Gardens” by Virginia Woolf and “Quite a Year for Plums” by Bailey White. The reading selection criteria will be good writing and gardens or gardening as a central part of the narrative. [startribune.com]
San Francisco, CA — Environmental education group—NatureBridge—has received a $4 million grant from the Google Charitable Giving Fund of Tides Foundation. Over a three-year period, the grant will help NatureBridge (naturebridge.org) bring 10,000 additional K-12 students to its residential programs, develop community-based environmental education training programs, deliver hands-on training to 850 K-12 teachers, and find new ways to leverage technology for students and teachers in the field and at home. [webpronews.com]
Omaha, NE — Nominations are now being accepted (until April 1) for the 2011 Nature Hills Nursery Green America Awards. The awards are designed to give national recognition and $5,000 in plants to community groups and non-profit organizations that are making a difference and improving their local environments and neighborhoods. The annual awards will be presented to nonprofit groups and organizations that are literally “greening” their communities, parks, schools and public spaces by planting and making the best use of trees, shrubs and other plants.
The Grand Prize winning garden project will receive $2,500 in plants from Nature Hills Nursery. The First Prize winner will receive $1,500 in plants from Nature Hills Nursery, and the Second Prize winner will receive $1,000 in plants. The plant materials can contain any combination of trees, fruit trees, bushes and shrubs, perennials and vegetable seeds available from Nature Hills Nursery (naturehills.com). Potential winning projects may be
- Creating a wildlife habitat for birds or animals on donated land that is (or has been) abandoned or neglected
- Creating or refurbishing the landscape in a community park
- A local soil erosion control plan that utilizes plants to stabilize steep hillside slopes or river banks
- The reclamation of an abandoned lot with the creation of a fruit orchard that will provide much needed fruit to nearby low-income residents
“Sustainability and beautification are important to our company. All of our plant production is carefully managed so the soils we depend upon are not depleted of their resources, ensuring a healthy soil environment for continued plant growth. We created the Nature Hills Nursery Green America Award to give back a portion of the plants we produce annually to projects that will help reduce carbon dioxide and beautify communities. Our goal is to help communities reclaim land, turning eyesores into oases. We want to help dedicated individuals, groups and organizations make their local communities better by providing a living gift of trees and plants that not only clean the air but also provide respite and a natural retreat. With each project, wildlife and beauty can once again flourish.”
To apply for the 2011 award online, visit the website at http://www.naturehills.com/green_america_awards.aspx%5Bearthtimes.org%5D
Port St. Lucie, FL — Keep Port St. Lucie Beautiful received the President’s Circle Award from Keep America Beautiful for its excellence in meeting the national organization’s standards. Keep America Beautiful focuses on litter reduction, elimination of graffiti, stopping illegal dumping, recycling and beautification of residential yards, businesses and public streets.
A big portion of Keep Port St. Lucie Beautiful work involves keeping streets litter-free and monitoring illegal dumping. A Litter Hotline provides residents with a way to alert the DPW to unusual amounts of litter or illegally dumped litter.
A litter crew works on main streets and DPW depends on volunteers for keeping side streets clean. Fifty six organizations have adopted more than 60 streets.
For every dollar the city spends in litter-reduction, it receives more than $3 worth of volunteer labor and donations of services and items like garbage bags from businesses and organizations.
Keep Port St. Lucie Beautiful conducts four to six beautification competitions a year for homeowners and businesses to encourage the planting and maintenance of attractive landscaping in keeping with Florida’s environment.
An education and beautification promotion program is implemented by using the city’s website, programs on the city’s television station, tree giveaways, annual cleanup day, household hazardous waste recycling, and outreach to schools and with publicity. [tcpalm.com]
Vero Beach, FL — Master Gardener Lisa Isaac works with Sun Up Center clients three days a week teaching container gardening. The Center serves the disabled from pre-school through adulthood, and calls the garden Sunbeam Farms. “We’re hoping that once we can harvest the crop, our clients can take them to a farmer’s market and sell them to the public. Whatever they earn from the project is theirs to keep.”
Funds for the garden supplies— growing containers, soil, fertilizer and plants, came from a $6,000 donation by two Vero Beach residents. The Center’s executive director applied for a $100,000 Impact 100 grant for a larger growing project on the property.
But when the grant went to two other non-profit agencies, the two supporters decided to fund a scaled-back version of the garden on their own. There are 48 earth-boxes, each set up so clients can have their own plot to work on it. In cold weather, plants can be covered or moved inside to protect them from freezing. [tcpalm.com]
Kane County, IL — “Part outdoor education, part social network and part self-help group for incurable nature nerds,” Kane County Certified Naturalists is a year-long program designed for adults who want to learn more about local natural history and also learn how to put that knowledge to good use. KCCN is in its fifth year. The program starts with five weeks of field trips and core courses in basic ecology, local ecosystems, ecological restoration, local wildlife, cultural history and interpretation. For certification, participants go on for advanced coursework and volunteer service. For information contact http://www.st-charlesparks.org/ [kcchronicle.com]
Columbia, SC — University of South Carolina scientists are developing a plan to place farmers’ markets at health centers. Support for the project comes from a $1.5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute. [treehugger.com]
Annapolis, MD — A $40,000 environmental grant has funded tree planting in Annapolis as part of the city’s effort to increase its canopy. The grant from the Alliance of the Chesapeake Bay was used to plant 233 trees and 153 shrubs, including four willow oaks in the Historic District to replace older trees that were recently cut down because of safety concerns. In 2006, the city entered into an agreement with the state Dept. of Natural Resources to increase the city’s Urban Tree Canopy from an existing 42 percent to 50 percent by 2036. The city’s UTC will be measured every decade. [baltimoresun.com]
Amherst, MA — A new project of Five Colleges Inc. [Amherst, Hampshire, Mt.Holyoke and Smith colleges + UMass] + the Five College architectural studies program plans to connect with communities along the Connecticut River by finding creative, sustainable and socially critical approaches to working with and on the river. This revitalization, called ‘riverscaping,’ will make the river a focused, shared experience.
The Riverscaping project is aimed at helping bring communities in the Pioneer Valley together with updated strategies for revitalization. “In general, the river provides power, water, unique ecologies, transportation, recreation, experience, art and more.” The Connecticut River ties together a very diverse collection of communities from urban to rural, from industry to academia to agriculture.
The Five College academic venue will supply long-term learning laboratories and engagement. The project’s study of the river will be from historical, literary, artistic, scientific, economic, political, and social aspects. It will reach out to community members, policymakers, artists, designers, businesses, students and academics to open inquiry and exploration.
A 100,000 Euro grant for the project is funded by the Delegation of the European Union. Experts and officials of Hamburg, Germany have been invited to Western Massachusetts to discuss the innovative strategies they used to make Hamburg the Green Capital of Europe. Hamburg’s progress–in addressing some social, urban and sustainable issues–was driven in part by a focus on the Elbe, Alster and Bille rivers. [masslive.com]
Chicago, IL — OpenChime (www.openchime.com), is giving up to $1000 to the best idea for helping to make the community beautiful, supporting grassroots style community improvement in Chicago. The contest ends at 11:59pm on February 28th 2011. Participants must tweet their idea in 140 characters or less. The idea with the most re-tweets will be priced through OpenChime.com and funded up to $1000. OpenChime is an online service that provides consumers seeking professional services with custom quotes from local businesses. [newsblaze.com]
Austin, TX — The Austin Public Library began a “Leaf for a Leaf” program which promotes saving trees by borrowing, instead of buying, books. They will be planting trees this year and holding related educational events and a reading contest with a goal of increasing the number of trees planted. [examiner.com]
Norwalk, CA — A year after starting a new energy conservation program, the Little Lake City School District has cut its energy bills by nearly a third, saving more than $350,000 and preventing about 380 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere. The program was part of the district’s collaboration with Energy Education Inc., which helped bring about behavioral and organizational change to the 5,000-student district in Santa Fe Springs that has substantially reduced its energy usage. [WhittierDailyNews.com]
Mesa, CA — The Mesa Harmony Garden is vying for a place to receive the RainBird “Intelligent Use of Water”$10,000 grant, awarded to projects that promote environmental sustainability, water conservation, and “green” initiatives. The garden is a collaboration between the Holy Cross Catholic Church + Santa Barbara City College students + Mesa neighborhood residents.
Its objective: Grow a maximum amount of food for distribution to those in need while minimizing use of natural and financial resources. The gardeners want to use half the money to build a cistern for capturing and storing rainwater collected from the church’s rooftop. A 10,000-gallon cistern would benefit the garden by eventually eliminating the use of municipal water.
The initiative is utilizing ancient Mayan and Chinese techniques of water conservation, as well as permaculture methods. Much of the land preparation for the garden has already been completed, including mulching, and the building of berms and swales. These are beginning to collect and conserve water even without the creation of a cistern. [independent.com]
Harrisburg, PA — The [Pennsylvania] Dept. of Conservation + Natural Resources offers Community Conservation Partnership Program grants that assist county, local governments and non-profit organizations across the state with recreation and conservation projects. Grant project priorities this year: park and recreation facilities that demonstrate green principles and connect children to healthy recreation and the outdoors; trails; river access projects and projects identified by regional partnerships. Eligible projects include community recreation projects to develop/rehabilitate parks and recreation facilities; open space conservation projects; developing greenways and trails; purchasing trail maintenance equipment; and partnership projects that provide education and training on natural resources, recreation, parks, greenways and trails.
Burlington, VT — The Friends of Burlington Gardens has announced that forty $1000 mini-grants will be awarded to groups developing or expanding school community gardens in Vermont. The deadline for submitting online applications is March 15. The mini-grant program provides reimbursements for garden infrastructure items including topsoil and compost, water systems, fencing, raised bed materials, hand tools, wheel barrows, and garden signage. The goal is to develop sustainable garden sites that will serve Vermont schools and communities for many years. [examiner.com]
Charleston, SC — A fifth-grade class has a bill in the state legislature that would restrict the release of balloons to protect wildlife. The Junior Wildlife Protectors of Belton Elementary School has launched a grass-roots movement to drum up popular support, writing letters to legislators, using a public service television spot, newspapers and other media to ask residents to contact their legislators. Littering is illegal in South Carolina, and releasing balloons should be considered litter.
Balloons regularly are found washed up on beaches during cleanups and sea turtle nest monitoring. Turtles and other wildlife often eat collapsed balloons as food or get entangled in the lines and/or die. The bill would limit the release of gas-filled balloons to no more than 20 per hour (exempting research and biodegradable balloons) as well as hot air balloons that are recovered after launching. The students were inspired when they heard a talk by the daughter of an assistant teacher, who had volunteered with a sea turtle nest watch group. The class also holds a read-a-thon that has raised $7,000 so far for a turtle hospital. [thestate.com]
Gulfport, MS — Using television, radio and print ads the Harrison County Beautification Commission is launching a community education campaign “Keep the Coast Beautiful: This is How We Do It.” Ads will show how people at work improving the Coast. [sunherald.com]
Bridgeport, CT — ‘Bridgeport Beautifies’ is a supportive group designed to strengthen community projects, create more city parks and restore public murals for targeted neighborhoods. This year they will help local 4-H programs find indoor gardening space and youth volunteers, help the public library establish a community garden and take over the Park City Street Sweep. This annual event leads city residents to clean sections of the city and celebrate afterwards. [ctpost.com]
Philadelphia, PA — Annually, the Philadelphia Zoo offers fifteen $1500 grants to support locally based conservation and environmental protection efforts in the tri-state area, preference to the Philadelphia area. Grants would go toward individual and group projects focused on wildlife, sustainability, greening initiatives, open space, conservation education and environmental awareness. [philly1.com]
Memphis, TN — Volunteers and sponsors are scheduled to help plant trees for scenic conservation of the Wolf River lands. The effort is being sponsored by The Little Garden Club, a Member of the Garden Club of America; The Memphis Garden Club; The Southern Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers; and The Tennessee Environmental Council. Because of this planting effort, instead of huge billboards in stark, open fields, future Highway 385 drivers will see protected Wolf River lands with a restored floodplain forest of 3000 various species in what is now open field. This is the sixth annual tree planting. [commercialappeal.com]
London, UK — Trees for Cities – Breathing Life into your Neighbourhood hosts the seventh annual Tree-Athlon. The Tree-Athlon is a three-part event, made up of a 5km run–a world record attempt for the largest barefoot race. Anyone can join on a 100m grass track, and participants take home a sapling to plant. The aim is to raise funds for the planting and care of thousands of trees across the UK and internationally. [hippyshopper.com]
Houston, TX — Apache Corporation has awarded 25,000 trees for planting. Houston Parks and Recreation is recruiting 2,500 volunteers to help get the trees in the ground. Following the planting, there is an Arbor Day celebration. Through its Tree Grant Program, Apache has awarded nearly 2 million trees since 2006 to more than 250 non-profit organizations including schools, cities, counties and parks in 14 states. [earthtimes.org]
Edmonton, CN — Like many other Jewish communities around the world, three grade 8 students at Talmud Torah School are on a mission to raise funds to purchase trees for the annual Jewish National Fund. Tu Bishvat, is a New Year for trees celebrated according to the Hebrew calendar. This year’s drive is particularly important as a major fire destroyed five million trees in Carmel Forest in northern Israel December 2. Each student at the school will also receive a seedling to be planted locally. [edmontonjournal.com]
Warner Robins, GA — Keep America Beautiful recognized Keep Warner Robins Beautiful for participating in the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s call to action in sustaining 670 [!] community gardens last year as partners in the USDA People’s Garden Initiative. The People’s Gardens program was launched in 2009. The initiative is an effort by the USDA to challenge its employees to establish People’s Gardens at USDA facilities or help communities create gardens through collaborative efforts. [macon.com]
UK — As many in the conservation field fear that young people are spending too little time outdoors the RSPB is asking schools to spend two weeks of every year teaching children to identify birds and explore nature. Also in Britain, the Big Schools’ Birdwatch has been in practice for ten years and is the biggest wildlife survey in the UK curriculum.
More than 500,000 children have taken part so far with more than 2,000 schools joining in every year. [telegraph.co.uk]
Bowling Green, KY — The Bowling Green Independent School district is now an official buyer in the Kentucky Proud network [a ‘Buy Local’ promoter]. The district also participates in the Kentucky Restaurant Rewards Program, getting cash back from the Department of Agriculture for local products it purchases. Buyers can get 10 to 20 percent of the money spent on local food, and Bowling Green Independent Schools gets about 16 percent back. Dishman-McGinnis and Parker-Bennett-Curry Elementary Schools also participate in a federally funded Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. The district gets a grant to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, which teachers hand out to children as a snack. [bgdailynews.com]
Seattle, WA — Boeing Co. Charitable Trust has renewed its support for the Student Conservation Association (SCA)–Seattle. A new Boeing grant of $75,000 will enable up to 150 Seattle-area high school students to benefit from hands-on outdoor work experience and educational opportunities. SCA community conservation programs serve to provide growth opportunities in leadership development, conservation work skills, conservation ethic, and community service. The ultimate objective is to create a diverse, informed and engaged citizenry who will continue to practice stewardship throughout their lifetimes. Throughout the U.S. the SCA experience creates avenues for young adults to pursue jobs and educational opportunities that might previously have been out of reach. Members protect and restore national parks, marine sanctuaries, cultural landmarks and community green spaces in all 50 states annually. [prweb.com]
Montreal, CN — The Profit for the Planet Community Challenge is the latest online initiative launched by Stonyfield Canada to promote and support sustainable development in communities across Canada. Stonyfield is donating a total of $25 000 in grants to local organizations whose grassroots, eco-friendly, green initiatives can affect positive and meaningful change in their communities.[newswire.ca]
Tucson, AZ — Community Food Resource Center has expanded a home garden program to include garden mentors. On a one-year basis volunteers will work with approved home gardeners to help them start their gardens and be available for questions. Approved home gardeners will have taken three basic vegetable gardening workshops. The Community Food Resource will install the first garden; provide compost, plants and seeds. [examiner.com]
West Melbourne, FL — Using beautification awards, West Melbourne will once again start recognizing business property owners who make an extra effort. “We so appreciate them . . . and we want them to know that we really do notice,” said Councilwoman Andrea Young. Two or three businesses receive the award each quarter. Designation signs are posted for the quarter, and owners receive plaques and framed photo. Those winners will be in the running for a “Mayor’s Award” and prize. A program for residential properties is under consideration. Young has been angling to improve beautification in the city since she was first elected to the city council in 2009. She was named as the liaison to the city’s Beautification Committee only to have found the committee had all but disbanded. [floridatoday.com]
Various states (USA) — Online Master Gardener training programs have been cropping up more and more. Source mentions Oregon State, Washington State, University of Illinois, Texas A&M (AgriLifeExtension). Check your state.
Various cities (USA) — Project Learning Tree(PLT), the national environmental education program of the American Forest Foundation has received a $25,000 grant from Staples Inc. – Foundation for Learning (SFFL). The grant will support GreenSchools!, a program giving students and teachers opportunities to investigate environmental issues at their school and engage with their community in service-learning projects that create green and healthy environments. Funding will expand programs in Charlotte, NC, Dallas, TX, San Diego, CA. [centredaily.com]
UK — The Green Awards were set up in 2006 to recognize and reward creative work that communicates the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility, sustainable development and ethical best practice in any sector and across any marketing discipline. See the list of award winners * including the (UK) National Trust’s ‘A Plant in Time’ event. Contributions made by visitors, in the form of a spectacular display of colorful flowers, formed the centerpiece for ‘A Plant in Time.’ Nearly 5,000 flowers made by visitors and many contributors wrote green living pledges onto paper leaves that were attached to a special pledge tree within the exhibition. *http://www.greenawards.co.uk/2010_winners/winners_case_studies
US — Project EverGreen’s SnowCare for Troops program is a new community-based program to provide free snow removal services for military families with a spouse or family member serving in the armed forces. Snowplow and landscape professionals from across the country that donate their services and time to ease the burden on military families seeking help on the home front. SnowCare for Troops is a national program underwritten by THE BOSS Snowplow.
US — Mercedes-Benz USA + Conservation Fund’s ShadeFund program to raise capital to provide small loans to U.S. green entrepreneurs. [emercedesbenz.com]
Boston, MA — Beacon Hill Garden Club donated its largest donation to any organization ($55,000) to the Friends of the Public Garden. Monies will be used for the installation and maintenance of a remembrance grove as part of the restoration of the Brewer Fountain Plaza on Boston Common. The Beacon Hill Garden Club’s eleven-tree remembrance grove will honor the achievements of deceased members.
The donation represents the Beacon Hill Garden Club’s involvement in the Garden Club of America’s centennial celebration in 2013. With trees as the theme of the celebration, each participating club began a 5-year program in 2008 to work with community organizations in planting new trees.
The Beacon Hill Garden Club Remembrance Grove is a significant planting within the Brewer Fountain Plaza project, which will transform this southeastern gateway into the park and add trees to the area.
Henry Lee, President and founder of the Friends of the Public Garden stated, “Park care ebbs and flows. With the economy as it is today and the drastic cuts endured by the Parks Department, we have entered another ebbing time for parks and non-profits alike. . . . The generosity of the Beacon Hill Garden Club demonstrates that we can still improve the parks through fostering great relationships such as ours with the Beacon Hill Garden Club.”
The Friends of the Public Garden is a non-profit citizen’s advocacy group formed in 1970 to preserve, protect and enhance the Boston Common, the Public Garden and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall in collaboration with the Mayor and the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Boston. A model public-private partnership and the first modern parks advocacy group in the Commonwealth, the Friends number over 2500 members.
The Beacon Hill Garden Club is committed to encouraging the love of horticulture and urban gardening, and to promoting the cultivation, preservation, and improvement of the urban landscape through educational programs and direct financial support for organizations dedicated to environmental conservation and civic improvement. [boston.com]
Stamford, CT — Shippan Point Garden Club wreath judges braved cold one morning to view entries in residential “Doors of Shippan” annual contest. Wreath workshop offered, Breakfast prior to judging. [StamfordAdvocate.com]
Pittsburgh, PA — “A regional manager of billboard company Lamar Advertising (LAMR) has denounced Scenic Pittsburgh, a municipal beautification group, as a “billboard hate group” whose leader has “a personal hatred for billboards.” In fact, Scenic Pittsburgh, Pa., has every reason to be concerned about Lamar. . .” [http://m.bnet.com/blog/advertising-business/is-8220personal-hatred-for-billboards-8221-ruining-pittsburgh-one-firm-says-so/6595]
Also “Scenic America is excited to announce the creation of Scenic Pittsburgh, the newest addition to our family of affiliates.” [scenic.org]
Dryden, NY — Kerra Quinn and her Tompkins Cortland Community College student collaborators are 2010 winners of the Robert S. Smith Award for Community Progress + Innovation. The project will involve Dryden elementary students and other community members in planting a ‘Three Sisters Garden’ using traditional Iroquois planting methods for squash, corn and beans. School children will be involved in growing local sustainable food; will bring in history, biology, nutrition, literature and local lore. After harvest a feast will be shared with local senior citizen community. Goal is to make growing local sustainable food a more common experience for school children. [Ithacajournal.com]
New York, NY — Global technology innovator LG Electronics to support the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and Grow to Learn NYC, the City’s school gardening initiative. LG’s support will help create new school gardens and green spaces through improved online information sharing and communication with the teachers, parents, and leaders ensuring that more young New Yorkers have access to a garden. [newsblaze.com]
Slidell, LA — St. Tammany Parish School Board + Honey Island Elementary PTA, faculty, parents, and grandparents build gazebo-outdoor classroom as part of school Beautification Committee’s 3-year Phases of Green plan. Will be used for science class, setting up a weather station and gardening. [nola.com]
Alhambra, CA — Still operating: Winston Smoyer Memorial Community garden established in 1976, renovated + reopened in 1998: has 88 spaces for Alhambra residents that rent for $9 – $77/year. The city closely monitors the garden, located above a water well and next door to a water treatment facility. No pesticides are allowed, gardeners required to attend quarterly meetings for education and updates. [pasadenastarnews.com]
Bowling Green, KY — This fall, students at Bristow Elementary School got a week long “lesson” in what it was like not to have safe drinking water—due to a heating/cooling chemical leak contamination at the school. One faculty member had the idea of turning the experience into a community service project. They decided to start raising money for Living Water International organization that provides clean water to people in impoverished countries. With the experience of being without water still in their minds, students developed presentations about water conservation. The school’s leadership team and school energy team also got involved. [bgdailynews.com]
New York, NY — For the first time, the James Beard Foundation will be handing out its Leadership Awards to all those food minds that are looking beyond the plate to creating a better world with the work they’re doing.
Folsom, CA — Theodore Judah Elementary School has planted a school vegetable garden. Mary Ann Delleney, health programs coordinator for the Folsom Cordova Unified School District says “Our school gardens serve so many purposes. In California, about 25 percent of us are obese. School gardens are an important part of our strategy for fighting that trend.” The school hopes to host a farmers market or vegetable stand while partnering with Soil Born Farms. Mercy Hospital of Folsom helped sponsor the as a way to combat childhood obesity and promote healthful eating. Also helping the Folsom Rotary Club, UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and the district’s maintenance staff. [sacbee.com]
Philadelphia, PA — Fourteen local schools have been chosen to implement PECO (utility) Environmental Education Program. Designed in cooperation with the National Energy Education Development Project (NEED), + the Franklin Institute, the project-based curriculum uses hands-on activities to explore the relationship between energy efficiency, conservation and environmental preservation. [businesswire.com]
Santa Clara Pueblo, NM — Audubon New Mexico and Santa Clara Pueblo have been awarded $22,000 to restore habitat and protect cultural traditions. To provide education programs connecting students on the pueblo to the natural world through scientific observation, species identification and a restoration project on pueblo lands along the Rio Grande or its tributary. The partners will also produce a nature guide in the Tewa language to help preserve cultural traditions and practices associated with the Rio Grande ecosystem. [bizjournals.com]
Cupertino, CA — Cupertino Rotary Club provided discounted materials, fence and free labor to Stevens Creek Elementary School’s new garden. [mercurynews.com]
Barnstable, MA — A new 5200 square-foot community garden has strategically been created in the vicinity of the Mid Cape Farmer’s Market for the Hyannis Youth and Community Center + students from the Barnstable Community Horace Mann Charter Public School. BCHMPCS faculty who serve on the garden committee are currently working to develop a composting program and develop a curriculum based around it, and developing a composting program. “You can learn about every type of subject – math, science, art; you learn life lessons about patience, success, failure, teamwork.” Money raised by selling produce at the farmer’s market will go towards the garden, maintenance, crops, teaching aids and start-up for gardens at other elementary schools in Barnstable. [barnstablepatriot.com]
Burlington, ONT — The bio-filter “living wall” at the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) in Burlington, Ontario has won an Award of Excellence from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities for its innovative design feature that harvests rainwater for irrigation and saves water consumption (which can be a problem with green walls).
“Essentially, this living wall is a vertical hydroponic garden where rainwater from the building roof is collected into a 12,000-litre cistern and circulated by a pump system to irrigate the plants,” said Mike Szabo, a principal at Diamond + Schmitt Architects, the project architects. “As water is absorbed into the plants, the system is replenished with water from the cistern.” The RBG living wall was also recognized for its role in educating the public on the benefits of this Canadian-made technology. [dcnonl.com]
Forsyth County, SC — A stretch of Highway 52 in Rural Hall has received an award from the North Carolina Department of Transportation for wildflowers planted in the median. The stretch won best regional wildflower planting for the central North Carolina region. The awards are intended to reward DOT staff for efforts to enhance the appearance of North Carolina highways. The flower planting is coordinated by the DOT’s Roadside Environmental Unit, which installs and maintains more than 2,000 acres of flowers along North Carolina highways. The effort is sponsored by the Garden Club of North Carolina Inc. [WXII12.com]
Topeka, KS — A multigenerational volunteer group constructed raised garden beds at the Oakland Community Center. The garden beds will be used by students to grow vegetables for themselves and their families. This project will be the first phase of construction of a larger community garden at the Oakland Community Center funded by a $5000 grant from the National Recreation and Parks Association. This garden will be the seventh community garden in Topeka Common Ground’s Community Garden for the Capital City program. Topeka Common Ground is a volunteer organization that assists social service, community and other organizations to develop community gardens in Topeka area while focusing on youth involvement. The organization has been in existence for 12 years, has developed 8 gardens and is adding a school-year educational program for Hillcrest, Abbott and Oakland Community Centers. [wibw.com]
New York, NY — The Greenhouse Project at the Manhattan School for Children PS 333 made up for their lack of backyard space with a rooftop destination for their staff and students. Designated as a meeting point focused on urban agriculture education, this rooftop glasshouse classroom features a hydroponic farm with an innovative system of teaching sustainability in the city. [inhabitat.com]
Towson, MD — Last year, the Woodbrook-Murray Hill Garden Club commissioned a contest for students of the Schuler School to design and produce an artwork to be installed in the Healing Garden of the Berman Cancer Institute at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center. One of the students at Schuler, Dana Maranto, won the competition, and he and David worked together for more than 18 months to design and sculpt a large bas-relief for the garden. The bronze relief is entitled “Health, Healing, Hope.” [explorebaltimorecounty.com]
Danville, IL — As an engineering technician at the Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System, Tonya Moore, initiated and supervised the construction of a healing garden for residents with dementia. “I had this long, skinny area with nothing but blank walls, some chain-link fence and a low spot to start with.” Moore researched recreational areas for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients in order to create an attractive, safe environment. “I knew that the residents love to watch the wildlife, so we dedicated a corner to bird feeders, squirrel feeders, butterfly bushes and water features,” Moore said.
The garden was made possible by a $244,000 federal grant along with donations by service organizations and individuals. It features a solar-powered water feature as well as lampposts for energy conservation, roof gardens easily seen by residents. Moore selected the safe plants, nothing with possibly poisonous berries or thorns, she said.
“The day the plants came in, it was the patients who let the staff know they had arrived.” [newsgazette.com]
Seattle, WA — Landscape architect Maggi Johnson donated her services to design a master plan for a healing garden at the Jubilee Women’s Center (transitional housing and support for 34 women in crisis). “The board had a strong vision for a healing garden for the center,” says Johnson, who helped make this vision a living, growing reality. The work was funded by one of the board members.
Textural, fragrant plants and a bubbling fountain appeal to the senses. The garden emphasizes seasonal change against a backdrop of plants that stay green or colorful through the winter. Quiet corners offer shelter for chats or reading. Larger, more communal spaces work for barbecues and the annual mother-daughter tea. There’s a smoking shelter with radiant heaters to draw the smokers away from the building, a place to park bikes, and a garden plot where the women get involved with growing fresh herbs, berries and vegetables. A shady contemplation garden offers the chance to play around with pebble mosaics, edibles are integrated into the landscape, a hidden arbor offers privacy and the fountain drowns out city noise. Low-income women from the neighborhood visit once a week when the center offers a “boutique” of donated clothes, and serves coffee and pastry in the garden.
The center offers Healthy Cooking on a Budget classes that depend on the P-patch part of the garden. Aboard member donated bird books for them to enjoy. Tools and gloves are on hand so the women can take ownership and do some weeding, harvesting and flower gathering if they choose. Blueberries and huckleberries are available for the picking, herbs for cooking, and plenty of green plants to engage the senses and soothe the soul. “This place is all about dignity and the human spirit,” says Chin. “You can feel it in the garden.” [seattletimes.nwsource.com]
Hamilton, NZ — New Zealand’s first and only Maori garden opens focusing on the plants, techniques and culture associated with pre-European Maori horticulture, food gathering and food preservation and storage. Iwi advisor Wiremu Puke says, “There is no other garden like this that preserves the traditions and material cultural knowledge with this level of integrity. It’s also an acknowledgement of the ancestors who cultivated these riverside terraces over many centuries up until the 1863 Waikato Land Wars.”Te Parapara would not have been possible without the Parapara Garden Trust and its major sponsors: the Lottery Significant Projects Fund, the Waikato Foundation Trust, Trust Waikato; Skycity, Hamilton Community Trust, WEL Energy Trust, Friends of Hamilton Gardens, Perry Foundation, Pacific Development and Conservation Trust, and Perry Aggregates. [scoop.co.nz]
Alameda, CA — Sixth grade science students at the Alameda Community Learning Center will take on the roles of real-life environmental scientists this school year, thanks to collaboration with Save the Bay and grant support from Bio-Rad. Using the Pasco SPARK system of data-loggers to enable remote collection of pH, salinity, and ORP data. Learners will conduct a geochemical and microbiological survey of two native plant restoration areas in the SF Bay. [newsblaze.com]
Los Angeles, CA — 80 members of LA Conservation Corps’ Clean & Green program will lead 200 volunteers from AEG in a community beautification project at 10th Street Elementary School and Magnolia Elementary School in the Pico-Union district. Volunteers will remove weeds and debris, fill planters, replace dead trees and paint storage containers at 10th Street Elementary School. They will clear weeds and bulky items from campus and in two adjacent alleys where students have to walk to school at Magnolia Elementary. [prweb.com]
Taunton, Somerset, UK — The old boating pond in Vivary Park, Taunton, has been re-opened as a sensory garden with commemorative benches. The facility is designed for people with sight, hearing, mobility and learning problems.
Planting will be accessible for people in wheelchairs, who will be able to touch and smell the plants. Plants include ornamental grasses that whisper and rustle, aromatic herbs such as lime-scented thyme, rosemary and lavender, and choice species such as chocolate cosmos and sweet iris. It was funded by a £22,000 grant from the Community Spaces and Groundwork UK fund and involved a community partnership. [somersetcountygazette]
Troy, NY — The Produce Project, a component of the 35-year-old Capital District Community Gardens, gives at-risk Troy High School students the opportunity to earn cash and course credit to work 10 hours per week growing produce in CDCG’s garden plots and Troy greenhouse and helping sell it at farmers markets. [timesunion.com]
Northampton, MA — Thanks to $94,000 in Community Preservation funds, Grow Food Northampton is ready to put down money for a 99-year lease on 17 acres of land on what is now the Bean/Allard property. The acquisition will provide enough space for more than 400 community garden plots in a community where demand has long exceeded supply. In one of the biggest land acquisitions in recent memory, the city has been working with the non-profit Trust for Public Land to buy some of the approximately 180 acres and preserve the rest for agricultural use.
Trust for Public Land was scheduled to close on the sale with the two families on Wednesday. According to Lombard, Grow Food Northampton received assurance from the Community Preservation Committee that it could use $94,000 of the $990,000 the committee recommended for the project to pre-pay the lease. Community Preservation money comes from a property tax surcharge and matching state funds. The money can only be used for conservation, recreation, affordable housing or historic preservation.
Grow Food Northampton hopes to buy a total of 117 acres of farmland from Trust for Public Land. The remainder would be cultivated by private farmers. The organization is about $150,000 short of its $670,000 fundraising goal. The group will seek additional city money to design a water installation system. [masslive.com]
Lakewood, CA — The Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD) has been awarded the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Theodore Roosevelt Environmental Award for Excellence in Natural Resource Management for its Eco Gardener Program. The Theodore Roosevelt Environmental Award was established by ACWA in 1993 to recognize resources management programs that benefit the environment while meeting public needs. The award recognizes significant agency commitment to “the wise use of natural resources; innovative and imaginative methods of enhancing or protecting the environment; and programs that achieve conservation goals in natural resources management in a financially efficient manner.”
The Eco Gardener Program enhances the importance of water conservation and stewardship by educating the public about simple ways to save water and contribute to a more reliable and local water supply now and into the future. The Eco Gardener Program will further resonate as water rates increase, making it even more attractive for consumers to plant less water intensive landscaping — thereby increasing the demand for knowledgeable landscapers. The objective of the Eco Gardener Program is to educate the public on the benefits and beauty of a low water use garden or landscape in lieu of the traditional residential and commercial garden composed of grass and ornamental shrubs. [earthtimes.org]
Ojai, CA — Ojai Trees has been awarded a grant from the California ReLeaf Program to plant new street trees. The $3,718 grant will double the number of street trees that Ojai Trees is planting in the community. “We were able to leverage our grants from Rotary Club of Ojai and the City of Ojai’s Tree Fund, enabling us to increase the number of new street trees.”
California ReLeaf assists nonprofit and community-based groups with grants for tree-planting projects on public land. The grants are funded through a contract with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and utilize Proposition 84 funds.
Ojai Trees had a proven track record; it has planted over 357 new trees and logged over 1,500 volunteer hours through their Neighborhood Forester program. Ojai Trees was established in 2008 to improve the Ojai Valley tree canopy by planting new trees, and currently assists Valley residents in planting trees on their own property twice yearly. A tree expert is available to assist in selecting “the right tree for the right place.” Trees are planted by crews of “happy volunteers”. [independent.com]
Atlanta, GA — Wheat Street Baptist Church, in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, has leased four acres of inner city land to the Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture to build an organic vegetable garden. With the help of District 2 City Council Member Kwanza Hall and an investment by the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation, TLW will bring fresh vegetables to an inner city community. The new garden site will be a market place and a training center for Atlanta citizens interested in urban agriculture. [ajc.com]
Charleston, SC — Keep Charleston Beautiful is happy to announce that five yards have been certified as Charleston (ecologically) Friendly in 2010. Charleston Friendly Yards is a free and easy to apply program open to all Charleston residents, businesses, and community groups. The City of Charleston’s litter prevention/waste responsibility and community involvement and awareness division, Keep Charleston Beautiful, designed the program to acknowledge those within Charleston who take pride in the appearance and quality of their yards and the natural world around them. The goal of this program is to encourage sustainable, environmentally sound decisions by acknowledging those in the community who have created beautiful yards while considering their impact on the environment and local community.
Charleston Friendly Yards wishes to recognize those who have made the commitment to finding sustainable solutions, whether it is an electric lawnmower, reducing chemical use or composting yard waste. Charleston Friendly Yards focuses on smart planting, water conservation, understanding soils and chemicals, limiting waste and emissions, providing for wildlife.
Each year Keep Charleston Beautiful awards the first 20 Charleston Friendly Yards with a cedar bird house donated in part by Lowe’s of James Island. [thedigitel.com]
Missoula, MT — The Nature Conservancy + Trust for Public Land completed the final phase of the largest ever private conservation land purchase. The Montana Legacy Project is the culmination of an unprecedented partnership between private and public partners to secure the future of one of the last places on the planet where not a single plant or animal has gone extinct in the last two centuries.
The Montana Legacy Project purchase of more than 310,000 acres from Plum Creek is a critical link to conserving a 10-million acre natural region that encompasses Glacier National Park and provides refuge for some of the last grizzly bears, Canada lynx and wolverines left in the lower 48 states.
The former commercial timber land in this purchase was intermingled in a checkerboard pattern with thousands of acres of public land. The Legacy Project seized the opportunity to erase this fractured pattern of ownership, allowing the land to be managed more effectively for both public recreation, sustainable forestry and as wildlife habitat. [prweb.com]
New York, NY — Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas Dedicates $1 Million for Environmental Causes including Amazon Conservation Association, National Audubon Society, Wild Salmon Center, Environmental Grantmakers Association and others. MCFA funding for Audubon will target Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Panama and Chile that are essential for the survival of shorebirds in Alaska, while supporting sustainable economic development in Chile and Panama.
Earlier this year, MCFA also pledged $300,000 over three years to the New York Botanical Garden to repair and upgrade the Mitsubishi Wild Wetlands Trail, located at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, New York. To date, MCFA has contributed over $400,000 to the New York Botanical Garden. [webnewswire.com}
Washington, DC –– Native American youth honored for conservation work. A group of Native youth traveled to Washington to attend an event that honored their conservation work and kicked off Native American Heritage month. The Interior Department’s 21st Century Youth Conservation Corps is a summer work program that takes place on federally managed lands around the country. The National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management employ young people each summer to participate in the program, which often leads them to a career in environmental and conservation work. The Interior Department’s goal was to employ 12,000 youth this year. [Indiancountrytoday.com]
Bristol, UK — Residents fund nature reserve in new housing development. New housing near Bristol comes with added wildlife in a nature reserve that residents help fund in the first scheme of its kind in the country. Volunteers help transform site into a nature reserve under the management of the Avon Wildlife Trust (AWT). Residents living in a new development adjacent to the reserve and, as a condition of purchase, agree to pay an annual fee towards the maintenance of the land. [guardian.co.uk]
Burlington, VT — Gardener’s Supply gave top honors to the founder of a Community Gardening Group in one of America’s poorest cities. Mike Devlin, founder and director of the Camden City Garden Club in Camden, NJ, has been honored as the grand prize winner in Gardener’s Supply’s Garden Crusader program. Devlin has spearheaded efforts by the Camden City Garden Club (CCGC) over the past 26 years to create and support approximately 90 food-producing community gardens in Camden’s urban neighborhoods. More than 60 of these gardens have been established in the last two years. According to a new study by the University of Pennsylvania, Camden is home to perhaps the fastest growing community gardens in the country.
These community gardens grew more than 30,000 pounds of food in 2009 — 139,000 servings of fresh produce. Mike Devlin believes that gardens can ‘grow’ people as well as food, and to that end, he initiated many programs in Camden — some going on 21 years. [marketwire.com]
Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has launched a new Center for Green Schools, headquartered at its offices in Washington, D.C., to further its efforts to give access to green schools to all students within a generation. United Technologies is financing the center with a multi-year, multimillion-dollar commitment.
The new center builds on USGBC’s Green Schools Campaign, launched in 2007. The Center for Green Schools at USGBC is engaging educators in creating sustainable learning environments for their students and applying solid research to inform leadership—from school boards to college presidents—about the benefits of healthy, high-performing schools.
Also to be established—the Center for Green Schools Fellows, which will provide fully funded, full-time sustainability coordinators to school districts for three years starting in 2011. “A district-wide sustainability initiative isn’t going to be successful until you make ‘green’ someone’s job,” The Center for Green Schools will be keeping data on the benefits of the position, which could include savings from energy improvements, increased community awareness and involvement, and better health for students and teachers. [connexiones.com]
Vero Beach, FL — Arun Wijetilleke designed the 19th annual Christmas ornament for the Garden Club of Indian River County the same way she has for 18 years. Her designs have raised more than $250,000 since 1992, when the garden club first commissioned the ornaments to raise money for civic projects it supports each year. Each ornament features a landmark of historic significance in Indian River County, and sales have increased from a few hundred at the outset to 2,500 this year. 2010 design: the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. [tcpalm.com]
Santa Cruz, CA — The Homeless Garden Project currently works with 14 trainees looking to get their lives back on track. Food grown at the project’s nearly 3-acre farm on Shaffer Road is put back into the community through the Community Supported Agriculture program. Money raised at the store goes back into the project. The holiday store sells goods such as wreaths made by project trainees.[santacruzsentinel.com]
San Francisco, CA — Three healthcare organizations teamed up to create an online hub of information and resources for bringing sustainability into hospitals. The Sustainability Roadmap for Hospitals website covers a broad range of topics relevant to the impacts healthcare facilities can have on people and the environment. The site was created by the American Society for Healthcare Engineering + Association for the Healthcare Environment + American Society for Healthcare Resource and Materials Management. [greenbiz.com]
Richmond, VA — The Virginia Environmental Endowment recently awarded $153,440 in grants, with the largest, $50,000, going to the Southern Environmental Law Center in Charlottesville to continue its work on transportation, energy, land conservation and water quality in Virginia. Other grants to: Appalachian Trail Conservancy in Blacksburg, College of William & Mary for Chesapeake Bay research, Elizabeth River Project in Portsmouth for a movable classroom for education about the river. [timesdispatch.com]
Pittsburgh, PA — Annual River of the Year program. This year the public all across the state participate by casting their votes for the 2011 River of the Year. The competition is run by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources + the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers.”We wanted to designate a river of the year to elevate public awareness of the importance of rivers and to highlight conservation needs and challenges that rivers face in Pennsylvania, such as preservation and access.” [post-gazette.com]
Reno, NV — The annual AT&T Real Yellow Pages “Project ReDirectory” phone book recycling program.
In addition to providing drop-off locations, AT&T + the Arbor Day Foundation will donate trees to area parks when they phone books are recycled at select Reno, Sparks and Washoe County park locations. [rgj.com]
Yorkshire, UK — An artist with a fertile imagination is being sought to create a new sculpture as a highlight of a sensory garden for children with special needs in a Hull park. Arc, the architecture center for Hull and the Humber region, has teamed up with both the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust + Hull Council to commission a “public realm artist” to work on a sculpture to enhance the proposed garden in East Park. [yorkshirepost.co.uk]
Oklahoma City, OK — The Central Park Community Garden won a gardening grant for $5,000.00 for their local version of the Closer to Earth diversion program. Green Education Foundation and Gardener’s Supply Company sent their check to the Closer to Earth group that sponsors gardening as a diversion for in-town juveniles from court, incarceration or gang activity.
The garden itself provides an outlet for developing the skill of gardening, which can be utilized for pleasure, to generate personal food or aesthetics, and to possibly as an income generating work skill for these youth at risk. They learn various techniques for gardening, composting, irrigation, weed and pest control. They learn various options for seasonal crops, as well as the use of recycled materials in various forms as aids or plant foods.
Up to their elbows in dirt in most any season, individuals who choose to garden are a vast array of demographics: toddlers to teens, families, singles, elderly. In all weather and all seasons the planned contact is on Sunday afternoon at 4pm. People can be found working at many times and on various days.
It has become a favorite project for college age students as well…. being in close proximity to OCU and near the Broadway Extension.
Projects undertaken span the garden itself, but also include the medians found from 30th and Shartel to 50th, and a few pockets of property owned by Parleir that are naturalized spaces for respite throughout the Central Park Neighborhood. [examiner.com]
Vail, CO — America’s highest altitude botanical garden is now responsible, officially, for preserving America’s highest altitude native flora. The North American Plant Collections Consortium, a branch of the American Public Gardens Association, has awarded Betty Ford Alpine Gardens official designation as the Alpine Plant Collection of Colorado.
It is the first and only public garden to receive this prestigious designation.
Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, in Vail’s Ford Park at 8,250 feet above sea level, is the highest botanical garden in the United States — and perhaps the world — providing free access to an estimated 100,000 visitors annually. Conserving plants of the American West, its mission is to inspire passion for plants in high-altitude communities through beautification, conservation, education and research programs.
Long-term goals include growing the collection to include more of Colorado’s 300 native alpine plant species; developing a wild seed collection program, as well as a database of propagation methods for each plant; and monitoring many of the collection’s threatened alpine plants in the wild. The gardens are uniquely suited to hold the NAPCC collection of Colorado Alpine Plants, with respect to climate, existing collections and staff expertise. [vaildaily.com]
Delaware — The Delmarva Ornithological Society (DOS) recently announced that its 2010 Conservation Award will go to Clear into the Future, the DuPont Delaware Estuary Initiative. DOS presents the annual award to a person or organization that makes a significant contribution to conserving bird habitats on the Delmarva Peninsula.
“The awards committee was impressed with the importance Clear into the Future has placed on the Delaware estuary, and the broad impact the initiative has made by underwriting the DuPont Nature Center, funding graduate fellowships and participating in projects such as the Delaware Bird-A-Thon and the Peregrine Falcon Webcam,” Sally said. “The committee also was impressed by the fact that the members of the Clear into the Future team act as volunteers, outside of their ‘day jobs’ at DuPont.”
“We’re thrilled to have been honored by the Delmarva Ornithological Society,” said Sheryl Telford, project director for Clear into the Future. “Through our joint work with the Peregrine Falcon Webcam, habitat preservation grants and the Bird-A-Thon, we hope to continue protecting and enhancing the Delmarva Peninsula’s unique bird habitats.”
Clear into the Future is a DuPont corporate initiative aimed at protecting and improving the health and beauty of the Delaware Estuary, while encouraging environmentally sustainable, regional economic growth. DuPont launched the initiative publicly in May 2007 with the grand opening of the DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Harbor Reserve.
To date, Clear into the Future has provided approximately $3 million in grants to non-profit environmental organizations, fellowships to university graduate students, support to environmental centers and programs for primary school students. Through its volunteer program, Clear into the Future also has contributed thousands of hours of volunteer time for estuary clean-ups, wildlife inventories and other community service activities. [manufacturing.net]
Baltimore, MD — Inspired by the school principal, Philip Filner, a retired biochemist from Lutherville, has taken it on himself to try to rebuild an old greenhouse on the roof of Northwestern High School in the city into a place where students can do real science. He discovered that Ikea is holding a contest called the Ikea Sustainability Grant. Filner’s greenhouse project is one of five finalists chosen by Ikea from 2,000 entrants. The project that gets the most votes by January 17th will win $100,000. “You can vote once a day every day,” Filner said. “We urgently need the help of the people in Baltimore to vote to support the project. Currently, he said, it is in third place. [baltimoresun.com]
San Jose, CA — NVIDIA will provide $250,000 to two local non-profits, continuing a 10-year company tradition. With Project Inspire, more than 1,000 NVIDIA employees and community volunteers gathered to build an urban garden, assemble a large greenhouse, build 1,000 1 ft x 1 ft garden boxes for local youth to grow produce at home or school, reinvigorate History Park with carpentry, painting, decorative murals and grounds improvement. NVIDIA is the world leader in visual computing technologies. Work was done in lieu of holiday party. [marketwire.com]
Tuscaloosa, AL — The Tuscaloosa VA has renovated an under-utilized atrium area, turning it into what it calls its “serenity gardens,” a place for veterans seeking a quiet place to relax. The indoor space features a winding brick pathway lined with water fountains, plants and hidden areas with sofas and reclining benches where veterans can take a quiet moment for themselves. “We wanted a place where someone could come and chill out, where someone suffering in the throes of (post traumatic stress disorder) could come and find comfort and peace.”
The VA also plans to use the space to hold group meetings on stress management and relaxation techniques. Adjoining café will offer cooking classes for veterans.
The Tuscaloosa VA spent approximately $45,000 on the project, contracting with local companies to enhance the space. Teresa Johnson of The Plant Lady was hired to do the landscaping.
“It was important, since it is a hospital setting, that we chose plants that were nonpoisonous and could handle a little abuse,” Johnson said. “It really is a serenity garden. With the water trickling and the calm music, you’ll be asleep in only minutes.” [tuscaloosanews.com]
Monrovia, MD — Green Valley Elementary students dedicate rain garden.
In early fall, Green Valley Elementary School’s Earthology Club planted 150 bushes, shrubs and perennial flowers. Aimee Weldon, senior director of restoration and lands for the Potomac Conservancy, got the plants with funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and guided the students in the planting.
Thirty students in the club weeded the area before the planting, and kept it watered afterward. Signage explains the science behind locating the rain garden at the bottom of a hill, next to an asphalt play area just off the parking lot. The plants include coreopsis, creeping lily turf, butterfly weed, Pennsylvania sedge, viburnum, a redbud tree, ferns and grasses. Coneflowers and asters also took root. [fredericknewspost.com]
Los Angeles, CA — The Learning Garden at Venice High School is not an official community garden but rather an educational lab open to the community. Gardeners from Beethoven Street Elementary School + UCLA Extension + Venice High gardening club + students from Yo San University + Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine. Garden master David King hosted the first meeting of the Seed Library of Los Angeles, believed to be L.A.’s first regional seed bank.
For the $10 membership fee, gardeners can “borrow” the seeds of specific edibles. Part of the resulting crop must then be allowed to flower and go to seed, allowing the borrower to return fresh seed stock to the library.
The Learning Garden’s acre of land includes a shade house, two composting areas and remnants of a 1920s-era greenhouse, a relic of the garden’s 100-year-plus history as an educational resource.
For decades the land had been fallow, its classic Dave Austin Gertrude Jekyll roses regularly weed-whacked down to a nubbin by the high school’s maintenance staff. The nonprofit Learning Garden started in 2001, and now more than 60 fruit trees grow on the perimeter and public Tai Chi classes run in a meeting area. And no automated or mechanical irrigation is allowed, anywhere — no drip lines, no soaker hoses, no timers.
One place where no watering is allowed at all is an area devoted to California natives and succulents, which were planted and are maintained by volunteer Christine Walker, right. She only waters when she transplants. She has spent years amending the clay soil with gravel and rock collected on the side of the road during her daily commute to Ventura. [latimes.com]
Brunswick, GA — Private landowners in Southeast Georgia are eligible for a share of $5 million in federal funds allocated to the state for preservation and restoration of longleaf pine forests, which once spanned thousands of acres in the region. The funding is available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service as part of its nationwide Longleaf Pine Initiative. Georgia is among nine states included in the program, which will provide technical and financial assistance to landowners who improve longleaf pine forests on agricultural land, non-industrial private forest and tribal land. Longleaf pine forests once spanned millions of acres throughout the Southeastern United States, but now only a few thousand acres scattered in isolated pockets remain. [jacksonville.com]
Dover AFB, DE — Dover Air Force Base is our nation’s only stateside mortuary for our armed forces. Every military casualty outside of the United States is transported to Dover, DE where the remains are prepared for burial. This year a new facility was dedicated at the Dover AFB called the “Center for Families of the Fallen.” It was created to provide support for grieving families who come personally to Dover to witness the dignified arrival ceremony of the remains of their loved one.
The Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs, with the approval of the Secretary of the Air Force, offered to create a memorial garden adjacent to the Center for a place of quiet reflection that would be private and screened from the road. The “Memorial Garden for the Fallen” is currently scheduled for completion and dedication in the spring. [examiner.com]
Philadelphia, PA — In 2010 residents had an opportunity to have a tree planted outside their city home, using money from a grant that was awarded to the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Department. The U.S. Forest Service, through enactment of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, approved a grant of nearly $1.8 million to be used toward the restoration of Fairmount Park’s ecosystems and a detailed study of the city’s tree canopy. A goal has been set of planting 300,000 trees by 2015. The aim is to achieve a 30% canopy over the city, thus lowering city temperatures, increasing property values and wildlife habitat, as well as many other naturally positive results. [examiner.com]
Gainesville, FL — The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement — or BOEMRE — has awarded a $2.5 million grant to Pandion Systems Inc. to conduct field study research for a new federal offshore wind energy initiative.
Pandion Systems and its subcontractors, which include other local businesses, will study the presence and patterns of wildlife on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf along the coastline from Maine to Miami. BOEMRE needs information on what birds, bats and other wildlife are out there and where they are so the regulators can make informed decisions about any potential effects wind turbines might have on wildlife.
Other subcontractors for the projects include the Cornell (University) Laboratory of Ornithology and the Gainesville companies Adaptive Equipment and RhinoSys Inc.[gainesville.com]
Ellicott City, MD — The Friends of Howard County Library, a nonprofit organization that supports the library system, has received a $25,000 grant to develop a community-based teaching garden at the soon-to-open Charles E. Miller Branch and Historical Center in Ellicott City. The teaching garden, which is scheduled to open in early 2012, will feature educational resources as well as classes to promote community health and wellness.
“The Enchanted Garden” is expected to be a resource in the county on healthful living, and it will focus particularly on youngsters. It will offer classes that will be developed by the Howard County public schools + Howard County General Hospital focusing on such topics as nutrition, environmental education, local history and gardening. [baltimoresun.com]
Also in Ellicott City, MD — “Win a Rain Garden” contest was staged by Howard County as part of a larger effort to demonstrate that doing a lot of stormwater retrofits, bioretention cells (aka rain gardens), and stream restoration projects in one small watershed could have a noticeable effect on water quality. All the entrants lived around Red Hill Branch, which drains into the Patuxent River.
Funding for the contest came from the county and the state’s Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays 2010 Trust Fund. The rain garden installations were overseen by Amanda Rockler of the Maryland Sea Grant extension program, with help from county engineers and experts from the nonprofit Center for Watershed Protection in Ellicott City. Twenty rain gardens are a start, but thousands upon thousands are needed to help the Chesapeake Bay. [baltimoresun.com]
Bradenton, FL — The Amah Mutsun tribe + the University of California-Santa Cruz Arboretum is trying to collect and cultivate the more than 100 plants, many considered medicinal by the tribe. The Relearning Garden will help the Amah Mutsun tribe teach their children plant identification and harvesting. The garden will become a living ethnobotanical exhibit. [Bradenton.com]
Menlo Park, CA — Menlo Park is proposing to plant 1,000 trees and shrubs at Bedwell Bayfront Park to help offset damage done to the environment through the widening of Highway 84 in 2000. Funding for the project would come from state taxpayer dollars earmarked for such undertakings. The additional plants would absorb an estimated 200,000 pounds of carbon dioxide but would mitigate just a fraction of the pollution generated by the extra traffic. It offsets less than 1 or 2 percent of the (annual) emissions from that widening.
The city submitted a grant application for up to $350,000 to the state’s Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program in the fall.
Established by the state Legislature in 1989, the program offers $10 million annually for projects that mitigate the environmental impacts of increased vehicle emissions caused by modified streets, highways, mass transit routes and other facilities built after 1990. Projects eligible for grants include urban forestry and habitat enhancements. [mercurynews.com]
Keep Georgia (USA) Beautiful — numerous awards to cities for community improvement, community gardens, conservancy, beautification such as Sandy Springs, DeKalb, Smyrna. See all affiliates listed http://www.keepgeorgiabeautiful.org/local_affiliate.asp
Jacksonville, FL — Groups working together to beautify the Jacksonville neighborhood one house at a time. Make It Happen Days volunteers include an animal group, a preservation group, a garden club, neighborhood residents and friends. Nicole Lopez is founder of Preservation S.O.S. (Save Our Springfield) and the creator of the Make It Happen Days. Too many demolitions and vacant blighted lots. The first house belonging to “Miss Maggie.” was painted, repairs made. A garden was put in and continues to be cared for by volunteers. Lopez started with a community garden, which has a waiting list, and is working on a Community Orchard and Communal Garden. The Community Garden won the mayor’s “Keep Jacksonville Beautiful” award this year. [http://m.jacksonville.com]
Memphis, TN — Band of volunteers go into wooded areas of the Memphis Botanic Garden every Tuesday morning to keep track of memorialized trees and maintain. The initial mission of this “Tree Team” was to locate and label more than 120 species of trees so the botanic garden could achieve the highest level of arboretum certification, Level 4, from the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council. [commercialappeal.com]
Newham, UK — Residents at Hedgerow Court earned ‘Best Kept Estate’ award.The ‘Hanover in Bloom’ annual competition is run by Hanover, leading retirement housing provider across the country. Residents compete to win prizes from five categories, each of which test and showcase gardening knowledge and green finger expertise. Hedgerow Court, is designed for older people. . . “Working on the garden has brought residents closer together and it’s become a place where they can show off to their visitors, family and friends.” [prweb.com]
Vancouver, BC — Over three year period, two secondary school students’ small-box garden project grows into full-scale “urban farm and composting project approaching elementary schools and seniors housing complex to pick up compostable waste and bring it back to the industrial composter installed in the school’s courtyard area. Also have 11 raised-bed gardens and a 320-square-foot greenhouse . . . Students from the Leadership 10 class use their phys-ed period to ride and fill the trailers with waste twice a week. Money is raised from various grants of all denominations. “The students were able to combine some school funds with grants from Toyota Evergreen and BC Green Games to purchase and erect the greenhouse, complete with warm grow lighting, automated fans and an aquaponics system.” Impressive. Learn lots more at http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/westcoastnews/story.html?id=5ebccdc5-2689-4277-a1ce-f316628d5f83&k=88961
Dallas, TX — Garden at the Southeast Dallas Health Center; project backed by Parkland Hospital + Urban League of Greater Dallas. Goal is to teach healthy eating and improve health statistics in neighborhood. [nbcdfw.com]
Cincinnati, OH — The UPS Foundation awarded sixteen Keep America Beautiful (KAB) affiliates $10,000 community improvement grants for 2010-2011 projects. Keep Cincinnati Beautiful’s “Future Blooms” program addresses the visual blight of boarded-up buildings by painting windows and doors on the boarded up windows and doors, immediately changing the aesthetics around the area. Vacant lots are defined, fenced and landscaped. [3blmedia.com] Pictures here http://www.keepcincinnatibeautiful.org/index.php/main/show/futureblooms
Bowling Green KY — Eagle Scout A. McAllister landscaped long-complained about unsightly city intersection plot. Operation P.R.I.D.E. provided plants and materials via $3000 grant from Independence Bank. It’s the first time the organization has worked with a Boy Scout, and his work is saving the city $500 to $600 in labor costs. McAllister planted trees, monkey grass and flowers. Passing drivers thanked him. [bgdailynews.com]
Richmond, VA — Garden Club of Virginia adopts restoration of Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest retreat. This will provide financial support for professional restoration.
Archaeologists have started investigating and restoring ornamental gardens and landscape features at Jefferson’s Bedford County retreat. Much of the garden and farm no longer exists, but plant memoranda, letters, archaeological excavations and lab analysis reveal clues about what Jefferson incorporated into the landscape.
GCV will work with the nonprofit Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest on two projects 1) excavating and restoring double row of paper mulberry trees and 2) investigation and restoration of ornamental plantings in front of the house: two oval flower beds and two tree groupings that Jefferson called “tree clumps,” similar to ones he had seen in Europe.
GCV represents 47 garden clubs statewide. The Garden Club’s mission is to restore historic gardens and landscapes, conserve Virginia’s natural resources, inspire interest in gardening and provide education for members and the public. Since its inception in 1929, the Garden Club of Virginia has restored more than 40 public gardens across the state, including landscapes at Monticello, Mount Vernon, the University of Virginia and Stratford Hall. More information at [www2.timesdispatch.com]
Malvern, UK — Children at Upton Primary School (Big Green Eco Gardening Club) called for donations of empty two-litre plastic drinks bottles to help build a plastic bottle greenhouse. Upton in Bloom will create raised beds. London-based business Vowles will be donating wood for the greenhouse frame. [malverngazette.co.uk]
Dover, DE —Delaware Physicians Care + Aetna Medicaid plan + Yellow Tractor Program sponsoring local Boys + Girls Club to plant fruit trees and berry bushes and build raised garden beds. Aim: to impact the health of children, showing benefits of healthy eating by eating what they grow. Food is to be used to feed and educate children in clubs’ after-school programs. “Research shows that children who plant and harvest their own fruits and vegetable are more likely to eat them.” [businesswire.com]
Boston, MA — Forests are sensitive to environmental change and warmer temperatures which affect growing seasons. To fill in some gaps in geographic data, a joint research program at the Harvard University Arnold Arboretum has received a $631,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study forest changes around the world. The Center for Tropical Forest Science, which has 40 locations in 21 countries, will use the grant over five years to fund various workshops in Asia and North and South America for early-career scientists and exchange students. The program’s international nature aims to balance protection of the world’s most valuable forests in developing countries with economic growth of those countries. [boston.com/lifestyle]
NeighborWoods Month (October) — Alliance for Community Trees + Home Depot Foundation + USDA Forest Service. NeighborWoods Month sponsored through a grant from The Home Depot Foundation. NeighborWoods Month brings together local nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and other partners to plant and maintain trees, and provide training and educational seminars. The Foundation has a goal of planting 3 million trees by 2017 in communities nationwide. [3blmedia.com]
Flagstaff, AZ — The Arboretum at Flagstaff has received a “Partner in Conservation” Award from the U.S. Department of the Interior. The arboretum collects and conserves native plant material supporting the Seeds of Success program. [kpho.com]
Thousand Oaks, CA — California Lutheran University builds a community garden. The garden will connect students to the local environment and make sustainability part of their everyday experience. For now, the garden is being funded by CLU’s facilities department, as part of its campus beautification program . . . organizers have applied for grants that they hope will provide additional funding. [vcstar.com]
N. Richland Hills, TX — The Common Ground NRH Community Garden, on land belonging to Davis Memorial United Methodist Church, is being launched after several months of organization by volunteers, city officials, students and merchants. [star-telegram.com]
Amherst, MA — UMass students create vegetable garden outside dining commons that could produce 1,000 pounds of vegetables. . . without cost, student-volunteers . . . with compost and wood chips from the campus, with cardboard from the dining hall. To create a more sustainable permaculture garden . . . called lasagna gardening, raking the wood chips away from the soil, laying the compost, then cardboard and then wood chips to create an ecosystem that will sustain the garden soil over the winter. In all about 200,000 pounds of organic materials are being used to build the garden. Minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and magnesium have been added to the mix. [masslive.com]
Los Angeles, CA — Al Renner, Los Angeles Community Garden Council . . .Solano Canyon, is nearly 5 acres in Elysian Park . . . “There is a fruit-tree orchard, a permaculture cornfield, a solar-powered water catchment system and seven compost bins. What had been a barren hillside a stone’s throw from a tunnel on the Pasadena Freeway is now home to Lavender Hill Farm, a teaching garden for at-risk youth established on the slope above the community garden.” [latimesblogs.latimes.com/home_blog/2010/11/solano-canyon-community-garden.html]
Wellsford, New Zealand — Wellsford Community Garden + NorthTec horticulture + sustainable rural development programmes. “The site has been cleared of old machinery and overgrown paddocks of rubbish, to begin the creation of a community garden. . . where knowledge, equipment and garden space is available on site for individuals, families or groups to establish their own vegetable plot or raised bed garden, just by investing their time . . . It all started with a display garden that we set up close to the road to see how things would grow here and to demonstrate to the community what it was that we were trying to do. Display garden produce goes to local food bank. Families have been encouraged to come to the garden and help themselves to fresh healthy produce in exchange for a little weeding or garden tidying. NorthTec is delivering horticulture and sustainable rural development programmes in a classroom space that it has set up on-site. [scoop.co.nz]
Albany Park, Chicago, IL — Community garden takes root from teen theater. The Albany Park Theater Project’s production of “Feast” — about how food figures into immigrants’ lives — has inspired the creation of a community vegetable garden in the park that’s home to the theater. . . “to give young people in the neighborhood a chance to learn while getting their hands dirty, as well as to donate the produce to a food pantry.” [suntimes.com]
Troy, NY — The Downtown Troy Business Improvement District (BID) began its beautification campaign. The first tree was planted by students from the Troy High School Environmental Club with the Capital District Community Gardens. Financial support was provided by the BID, the city of Troy and the E. Stewart Jones Law Firm. Banners feature the Troy logo designed in 2008 as part of a citywide rebranding funded by the Redevelopment Foundation. The banner design was donated by Smith and Jones, a city marketing firm. [timesunion.com]
Needham, MA — Local high school students completed the Trustees of Reservations’ first Charles River Youth Corps program, earning conservation-based job experience. “The open-space preservation organization’s Charles River Youth Corps program is dedicated to providing teens with experience in sustainable management of parks and greenways. . . participants led more than 100 volunteers in completing a range of projects; the list includes clearing 14,780 feet of urban trails, removing 630 baskets of invasive water chestnuts, painting 40 benches and picnic tables, installing four bulletin boards, pruning vegetation, cleaning litter, and painting a 100-foot mural near the Waltham Bleachery.” [boston.com]