ELIZABETH, NJ - As part of the 'Plant a Seed' grants initiative, the Union County Means Green Community Garden Grants program is now accepting applications for awards designed to start a community garden -- or to expand or improve an existing community garden.

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

Union County Means Green grants include pre-budgeted $1,250 all-in-one packages for starting new gardens, $500 block grants for expanding or improving gardens -- including the purchase of equipment and supplies -- and Garden Innovations grants for pollinator, hydroponic and high tunnel gardens.

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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 entities including public libraries, senior centers and community centers.

Other volunteer groups and civic organizations are welcome to apply for a grant, but they must designate a municipal or 501(c)(3) organization to receive the funds. 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.

Applications for a 2018 grant are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 16. Union County will notify grant recipients on or about Friday, March 23.

For more details and a downloadable application form, visit Union County at ucnj.org/ garden-grants, or contact Groundwork Elizabeth, 908-289-0262 or info@groundworkelizabeth.org.