Union County, NJ – Five garden projects in Union have been awarded grant funding through the Union County Means Green Community Garden Grants program. The grants were five of the 42 awarded to Union County municipalities.
The $9,100 awarded to Union is one of 42 grant projects in the county, Union’s awards are:
- Union Township Adult Community Development (2 accessible beds, $1,300); Thomas A. Ehrhart Gardens, 100 Francis Court
- Union Senior Residents Housing Corporation (hydroponic garden, $3,000); James Schaefer Garden, 35 W. Summer Avenue
- YMCA of Eastern Union County (hydroponic garden, $3,000); Gateway Family YMCA Five Points Branch Community Garden, 201 Tucker Avenue
- Township of Union (2 accessible beds, $1,300); Township of Union Community Garden, Eleanor R. Erickson Park, Liberty Avenue
- YMCA of Eastern Union County (garden improvements, $500); Gateway Family YMCA W.I.S.E Center Branch at United Methodist Church
“Through the UC Means Green program, we bring the benefits of community gardening to people from many different walks of life throughout Union County, including those who may find it difficult to access conventional garden plots,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski. “This year, our awardees range from historic sites and libraries to facilities for seniors, the homeless, and people with disabilities and special needs.”
Grants from UC Means Green have helped to improve existing community gardens, start new gardens and transform empty lots into thriving centers for social and educational activities, with hundreds of pounds of fresh produce consumed and donated to local food pantries each year.
The grant program launched in 2016 and is administered on behalf of the Freeholder Board by the non-profit organization Groundwork Elizabeth.
This year Union County Means Green awarded pre-budgeted grants for starting new gardens, including a choice of raised beds, waist-high accessible beds for seniors and people with disabilities, or “Earth Boxes” that enable gardening in tight spaces.
The program also awarded block grants for expanding or improving gardens, pre-budgeted grants for starting pollinator plots that include edible plants, and pre-budgeted grants for hydroponic gardens, enabling the gardening experience to continue throughout the winter months.