Union County Freeholder Board Awards “UC Means Green” Community Garden Grants


UNION COUNTY, NJ - Seven Elizabeth locations were chosen to receive a 2017 Union County Means Green Community Garden Grant, awarded by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

The gardens will provide donations of fresh produce to those in need as well as education, recreation, civic service and social opportunities for gardeners and their communities.

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.

Sign Up for E-News

“This year’s group of awardees demonstrates that the community garden movement touches Union County residents of all ages and from all walks of life,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “On behalf of the Freeholder Board I wish our awardees all the best for an enriching experience and a bountiful harvest.”

The 2017 UC Means Green garden grant program is administered by the non-profit organization Groundwork Elizabeth on behalf of Freeholder Board. Groundwork also administered the 2016 program, which covered 19 projects in 10 municipalities.

“Groundwork’s expert guidance helped to ensure a successful first year for the grant program,” said Bergen. “We’re pleased to have them on board again to administer the 2017 round of funding.”

“Many Union County residents are eager to reach out and help those in need, and community gardens provide an opportunity to participate in a service activity while also spending time out in the fresh air with friends and neighbors,” said Freeholder Vice Chairman Sergio Granados, who chairs the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund. “It is especially meaningful to engage our young people in raising and donating fresh produce, both as an educational experience and because helps them to see that even at a very young age they can still have a positive impact on the health and well-being of their families and the whole community.”

To help fill the demand for educational gardens, this year Granados introduced a new community garden funding program for schools called Union County Kids Dig In. Also administered by Groundwork, the new program is funding garden projects at 32 schools.

“We are thrilled to administer UC Kids Dig In and UC Means Green on behalf of the Freeholder Board,” said Groundwork Executive Director Jonathan Phillips. “Interest in community gardening is strong all across Union County, from our cities to our suburban areas.  Growing food locally helps build healthier families, and often improves vacant and underused land for the benefit and enjoyment of local residents."

The 2017 UC Means Green awardees are:


  • Make the Road New Jersey Community Garden (located at the Snyder Academy)
  • Elmora Branch Library Community Garden
  • E’Port Community Garden (sponsored by Prevention Links)
  • P.I.S.C. Vera Verde (located at Portuguese Instructive Social Club)
  • Jewish Family Service Community Vegetable Garden
  • Elizabeth Branch Community Garden (Gateway Family YMCA)
  • Trinitas Community Garden (Trinitas Hospital)


  • Fanwood Borough Hall Pollinator and Butterfly Garden

New Providence

  • New Providence Community Garden


  • Planting Seeds Community Garden #1 (located at Mt. Zion AME Church)
  • Richmond Towers Garden Club
  • Grace’s Community Garden (located at Grace Episcopal Church)


  • East 1st Avenue Garden (Community Access Unlimited)
  • BT and Diane Mathis Garden (Roselle Department of Recreation)

Scotch Plains

  • Brunner Children’s Garden (Howard B. Brunner School)
  • Scotch Plains-Fanwood Community Garden (located on the grounds of Frazee House)


  • Mary Reinhart Stackhouse Education Center Children’s Garden (Reeves-Reed Arboretum)

Union Township

  • Union Township Community Garden (located at Eleanor R. Erickson Park)
  • WISE Center Branch Community Garden (Gateway Family Y)


  • Westfield Food Pantry (Holy Trinity Church)

The Union County community garden movement is also supported by community organizations and private sector partners, and it has even attracted state and federal interest.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has partnered with Groundwork through the More PEAS permaculture initiative, resulting in the construction of more than 100 new community garden beds in Elizabeth earlier this month.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Conservation Resource Service has also begun to partner with Groundwork in of support Union County community gardens. The agency traditionally provides assistance to rural farmers. Its interest in Union County is part of a new initiative to reach urban farmers and community gardens.

Rounding out the community garden picture in Union County is the Rutgers Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden. Located by the County’s Trailside Nature and Science Center, the garden has donated thousands of pounds of fresh produce for local food pantries and offers a variety of community education programs.

The Master Gardeners is an all-volunteer organization run by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County and supported by the Freeholder Board, as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s national Extension system.

For quick links to Union County environmental programs and more information about the Union County Extension, visit The Green Connection.

For all Union County programs and services visit, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email or use the online Contact Form.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Faith Lutheran Church in New Providence Schedules Holy Week Services

March 21, 2018


Faith Lutheran Church in New Providence invites area residents to each of its liturgical services during Holy Week.

On Passion or Palm Sunday, March 25, two Eucharistic liturgies will be conducted, one at 8:30 a.m. and the other at 11 a.m. The title of the sermon at both liturgies will be “Servant of All.”  The music of each liturgy will be provided by the Sanctuary ...

Host the Ultimate Party -- Extreme Foot Dart at the YMCA

Host the coolest, most unusual party EVER where kids will have a blast running and kicking balls around a gym trying to hit a ginormous inflatable target.   A variety of games and activities will be sure to keep your guests engaged and having fun followed by 45 minutes in our private party room.

 Party Times: April - October
Saturdays: 3:30pm-5:00pm

Members / ...

91 Young Musicians Work Together To Raise Nearly $14,000 for the New Jersey Youth Symphony

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ —91 young musicians in the New Jersey Youth Symphony’s Youth Orchestra (YO) ensemble have raised nearly $14,000 to date for the organization’s annual Playathon, a student-led fundraiser established by the New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) in 1985. The Playathon is the largest free concert of its kind and this Sunday over 450 students from 12 NJYS ensembles ...

Thank You From Mayor Al Morgan

March 16, 2018

This past week will certainly be remembered by us all for a very, very long time. Thank you hardly seems sufficient, but it is the very least we can express in appreciation for all the incredible acts of kindness, generosity, selflessness, and volunteerism our community received this past week during and after the storm.

Thank you to all of our residents for their patience, understanding, and ...

Dear Susan: Beauty Tips from a Beauty Expert, Spring Edition

SUSAN BARBAGLIA, owner of Skin Deep Salon and Spa in New Providence, offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise as a leader in the beauty industry. With over thirty years experience in skin care, Susan can answer your most challenging beauty questions. Email your ...

Hillsborough: Suspended HS Athletic Director Charged with Theft

March 20, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Suspended Hillsborough High School Athletic Director Michael Fanizzi has been arrested and charged with the theft of $10,704 in athletic event receipts over a four-year period from 2013-2017, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Fanizzi, 53, a resident of Conover Way in Hillsborough who had been athletics director for 14 years,, had been suspended ...

The Role of Meal Replacements in Weight Loss

March 20, 2018

Obesity is at epidemic proportions in the United States and in other developed and developing countries. The prevalence of obesity is increasing not only in adults, but also in children and adolescents. We all know that obesity is a significant risk factor for various chronic illnesses, most importantly heart disease and diabetes, but also cancer and osteoarthritis, liver and kidney disease, ...

Upcoming Events


Wed, March 21, 8:00 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity

Health & Wellness


Wed, March 21, 8:30 AM

St. Vincent Martyr School, Madison

Open House for Preschool, Kindergarten & First ...



Wed, March 21, 9:30 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity

Health & Wellness


Wed, March 21, 5:45 PM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Power Core Yoga

Health & Wellness

Wed, March 21, 7:00 PM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

increase your networking and interviewing iq

Business & Finance Other


Thu, March 22, 8:00 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Integrative Mat Pilates with Joan

Health & Wellness

You Want a Check for How Much!

 My first admissions gig was working for a small liberal arts college with a pretty hefty price tag.  Picture me at a college fair: name tag in place, pile of brochures ready to go.  An eager family would walk up and we’d start a conversation.  One of the first questions I’d get from parents was about cost and the moment that $50,000-plus figure left my mouth I ...