On the QT | The Official Newsletter of GWA February - March 2017 - Page 17

Gro1000 Grants Announced

BY ASHLEY HODAK SULLIVAN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GWA FOUNDATION
The GWA Foundation , in partnership with ScottsMiracle-Gro Foundation ’ s GRO1000 Program , the U . S . Conference of Mayors , Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanic Gardens and KidsGardening . org , will be traveling to four cities in support of the 2017 Gro1000 Showcase Grant Winners .
A panel of former mayors and national garden experts chose the cities . The winners were announced at the Mayors ’ 85th Winter Meeting in Washington , D . C . Each GRO1000 grant awardee receives $ 40,000 in monetary support and in-kind donations to develop gardens and greenspaces that will help improve their communities . This year ’ s showcase grant winners are :
• New Bedford , Massachusetts : Abolition Row Park will be a transformational public greenspace at the edge of New Bedford ’ s downtown core , replacing blighted property adjacent to three buildings on the National Register of Historic Places — documented Underground Railroad sites and the first home in freedom of Frederick Douglass . The park will be a teaching and storytelling garden that will focus on the city ’ s history in the 19th century as a community of tolerance and a haven for those seeking escape from the institution of slavery . The park will also feature monarch gardens to engage local schoolchildren and college students .
• New Haven , Connecticut : A former dumping site , Cherry Ann Park is now a 5-acre greenspace in New Haven that serves to connect a predominantly low income , African-American residential community , city park , neighborhood kindergarten to 8th grade school and state university . The park ’ s
GWA Membership Coordinator , Alexa Haller , works with children at Pleasant Village Community Garden in New York City to make mud bombs with seeds of wildflowers during a 2016 GRO1000 celebration .
transformation , which began in 2014 , will continue with environmental and health educational opportunities for students at the King Robinson Magnet School , job creation for local youth and a series of raised edible garden beds to feed community members in need .
• Rochester Hills , Michigan : The Hills Sensory Garden will be a 5,000- square-foot garden located in Rochester Hill ’ s Riverbend Park . The garden will have two different areas — a student-designed and maintained space and a professionally designed sensory garden . The garden will include areas specifically devoted to schools from Rochester Hills to teach students the elements of ecology , such as native plants , soil erosion and pollination . The garden also will encourage children to interact with nature through guided walks and a natural-elements playground . The garden will also serve the public as a recreational sensory garden . The naturalelements playground , immediately adjacent to the garden , will be designed with sensitivity towards those with autism .
• Santa Monica , California : The result of community outreach to design a buffer area adjacent to a new Metro Rail , Ishihara Park is a public greenspace where the community can connect with nature while being screened from a nearby maintenance facility and its 24 / 7 operations . Ishihara Park will cover 2.35 acres and serve as an urban revitalization effort to replace land formerly used as a parking lot . It will be planted with native trees and shrubs to create open greenspace for the community . A nature garden will include flowering trees and plants to entice natural pollinators , and will give residents access to natural beauty and tranquility . The open greenspace will allow residents to use the park as they desire — for meditation , celebrations , bird watching or just simply walking and talking . A learning garden and an urban orchard of citrus trees will provide the community with space to grow fresh produce and gain horticulture knowledge .
The GWA Foundation has been a partner of the GRO 1000 program since its inception in 2011 . The program is part of Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation ’ s commitment to bring the life-enhancing benefits of gardens and greenspaces to more people and communities . The initiative will support the creation of more than 1,000 community gardens and greenspaces in the U . S . by 2018 in conjunction with ScottsMiracle- Gro ’ s 150th anniversary . To that end , more than 830 community projects have received GRO1000 funding to date . For more information , visit www . GRO1000 . com .
ARE WE COMING TO A CITY NEAR YOU ?
We are looking for member volunteers to join us in support of these wonderful projects . The press also is invited . Please contact Alexa Haller ( ahaller @ kellencompany . com ) for more information .
PHOTO COURTESY GWA / GARDENWRITERS . ORG
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