The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the 2020 Union County Means Green community garden grants program. The UC Means Green program supports improved nutrition as well as new opportunities for recreation, social activities, education and community service through the experience of growing fresh produce in local neighborhoods.

“UC Means Green enables gardeners of all ages and abilities to work cooperatively, share with the community, and enjoy the satisfaction of growing fresh food,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

UC Means Green was launched by the Freeholder Board in 2016. Since then, it has helped to transform bare fields and empty lots into thriving centers for community activities, with thousands of pounds of fresh produce raised for local consumption and donated to local food pantries.

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Any Union County municipality or local nonprofit organization with 501-(c)-3 tax exempt status is welcome to apply for a UC Means Green grant. Groups organized as LLCs or other commercial entities are not eligible to apply. Gardens must be located on municipal property or on property owned by a non-profit organization (gardens located on privately owned or commercial property are not eligible).

In addition to traditional soil-based gardens, eligible garden types include but are not limited to rooftop gardens, vertical gardens, aeroponic gardens, mushroom gardens, milk crate gardens, pollinator gardens (must include food-producing plants), rain gardens (must include pollinator-attracting and food-producing plants), hay bale gardens, forest gardens and more.

Applications for a 2020 grant are due by March 27.

The non-profit organization Groundwork Elizabeth administers UC Means Green on behalf of the Freeholder Board. For more information and a downloadable application form, visit Union County online at ucnj.org/garden-grant or contact Groundwork Elizabeth, 908-289-0262 or info@groundworkelizabeth.org.

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

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