In continued support of their belief that everyone has the right to fresh, organic, chemical-free food, Nature’s Path Organic Foods is pleased to announce the winners of the fourth annual Gardens for Good Grant, which helps put organic community gardens where they will serve those who need them most. The three deserving non-profit organizations to receive grants are The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative in Detroit, Mich., Tri-Isle Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc in Kahului, Hawaii and rare Charitable Research Reserve in Cambridge, Ontario. The Gardens for Good Grant program is part of Nature’s Path commitment to urban agriculture and aims to empower communities to take action and grow organically where they live.
“Not only are these organizations providing organic food for communities that need it most, but they are also creating major positive changes in their area from the ground up,” said Arran Stephens, President and Founder of Nature’s Path. “It is a privilege to be able to help each of these organizations and support their leaders to create a better and socially responsible community.”
Out of the 153 entries from non-profit organizations making an impact at the local level, three rose to the top: The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, Tri-Isle Resource Conservation & Development Council and rare Charitable Research Reserve. The winners were among nine other finalists who earned the most public support by way of online votes, and were ultimately selected based on the compelling, empowering and inspirational nature in which they described their organic garden project; the feasibility to establish and maintain the garden; and demonstrated community need. The organizations will each receive a $15,000 cash grant for their community garden project, and technical design and production mentorship provided by Organic Gardening magazine.
About the Winners
The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative is a hyper-local organization that serves residents from the North End community of Detroit where immense amount of vacant land and structures have become a challenge for the growth and sustainability of the city, but also provide unique opportunity for urban agriculture. The organization’s efforts have been focused on developing the area into a community resource that provides a comprehensive set of agriculture-based resources from educational programming to large-scale community gardens and several pilot programs designed to cost-effectively convert community liabilities into assets. The Gardens for Good Grant will help install new windows and a secure roof on their community resource center and also begin major renovations required to get empty spaces up and running.
Tri-Isle Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc’s Hali’imaile Community Garden project serves residents on the Island of Maui, and works to build a community around food self-sufficiency through educational outreach and garden space. Their newest undertaking, the Goodwill Garden, grows produce specifically for weekly donations to local food banks and organizations that feed the hungry to provide fresher, more nutritious food to those in the community that need it most. The Goodwill Garden was established in April 2012, and has provided several hundred pounds of fresh produce each month to help feed the hungry. The Gardens for Good Grant will help grow the Goodwill Garden and assist other programs that provide better nutrition to participants and the hungry and homeless of Maui.
The rare Charitable Research Reserve located in southern Ontario is a 900+ acre nature reserve based in Cambridge/North Dumfries that aims to protect a unique landscape and engage the community in nature. Their Springbank Gardens provide a large natural area for people of all ages to get active through gardening and growing their own healthy, sustainable food. The gardens are composed of three areas including education and demonstration gardens, and a Community Roots Food Bank Garden, and 100 community plots. A partnership with the local food bank allows the organization to give fresh, organic produce directly to those in the community who need it most. The Gardens for Good Grant will help improve the gardens by standardizing field sizes, expanding irrigation into the new Food Bank Garden and other projects to enhance the community gardens.