Community gardens grants available
It is the season to begin thinking about fall garden cleanup; it is also time to apply for a 2013 Kansas Community Gardens Project Grant.
The goal is to provide seed money (up to $5,000) for Kansas community gardens to raise public awareness about community gardens and the benefits they offer to a community and its residents, said Evelyn Neier, K-State Research and Extension 4-H Youth Development garden specialist, who works on the grant project.
Gardening provides health-promoting physical activity, said Neier, who noted that grant funding also is intended to unite diverse community groups in teaching and learning gardening skills, and to encourage collaboration on sustainable strategies to improve access to fresh, local foods.
The grant opportunity is funded by the Kansas Health Foundation and administered by K-State Research and Extension. Twenty-four grants of up to $5,000 were awarded in 2012, the first year of the three-year grant.
According to Neier, first-year grant recipients used the funding to make capital improvements such as building a tool shed, and to cover big ticket items from installing irrigation equipment or a water line to building raised beds, adding fencing, or improving the soil to increase a garden's staying power--and sustainability.
Kansas communities are encouraged to apply; grant specifics and applications are available at www.kansascommunitygardens.org.
Neier encourages communities developing a grant application to first review profiles of gardens that have been funded to learn more about the variety of ways communities are using the funding.
Grant applications must be completed and postmarked by Jan. 15, 2013, to be considered for funding.
More information on the Kansas Community Gardens Project Grant opportunity also is available at extension offices throughout the state.
More information about The Kansas Health Foundation, a private philanthropy dedicated to improving the health of all Kansans, is available at www.kansashealth.org.