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Union County Freeholders Sponsor New Round of Community Garden Grants for 2017

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Credits: ucnj.org
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As spring approaches people are thinking of gardening. For those communities that have or are thinking of having a community garden, help is at hand. The 2017 Union County Means Green Community Garden Grants program is now accepting applications for matching grants to start a community garden, or to expand or improve an existing community garden in Union County.

The new round of funding follows on the success of the 2016 Union County Means Green Community Garden Grants program, an initiative of Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen.

“The Community Garden Grants program was introduced for the first time last year, and it received an enthusiastic response,” said Bergen. “We provided funding for 19 different garden projects in 10 different municipalities and we are looking forward to another successful season.”

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The Community Garden Grants program is funded by the Freeholder Board with the goal of enabling more County residents to enjoy the benefits of growing fresh produce garden in their neighborhoods. 

“Along with improved nutrition, community gardens offer many new opportunities for education, recreation, community service and social activities for all ages,” said Freeholder Vice Chairman Sergio Granados. “Interest in community gardening has been growing rapidly in Union County and across the country, and the Freeholder Board is very proud to support this important movement.”

A minimum grant request of $800.and a maximum of $3,000.are suggested. Pre-budgeted grant packages are also available.

“The pre-budgeted grant packages were a popular part of last year’s grant program,” said Bergen. “They helped take the guesswork out of ordering supplies and constructing new beds.”

All applicants must be prepared to match their award with an equivalent amount from other sources, in cash or in the value of supplies, equipment or professional labor.

Funding from the Union County Means Green Community Garden Grants program is available to non-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, and to municipal departments or entities including public libraries, senior centers and community centers.

Other volunteer groups may apply for a grant by partnering with their local municipality or a 501(c)(3) organization. The grant partner will accept the award on behalf of the garden and ensure that the funds are disbursed in accordance with the grant guidelines.

Only gardens that grow produce are eligible for grants.

Gardens that applied for a grant in 2016 are welcome to apply for a 2017 grant.

Applications for a 2017 grant are due by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7. Union County will notify grant recipients no later than Thursday, March 16.

More details and downloadable application forms are available on the County website, at ucnj.org/garden-grants.

To view the 2016 Community Garden Grants recipients, visit ucnj.org/green-connection.

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