Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thinking about Grants for Vegetable Gardens during the Holiday Season

With temperatures outside in the frigid zone and with the pending arrival of  Christmas, a vegetable garden is the last thing that comes to mind.  After all, it wasn't long ago that you cleared the frozen tomato and chile plants from the plot in the back yard and dumped those fallen leaves into the compost to give them a nice source of carbon.

Photo: NM Centennial Garden Program
But this is indeed the time to think about vegetable gardens if you are a school administrator or a teacher who would like to apply for a grant from the New Mexico Centennial Gardens Program. This because all applications must be received by  5:00 pm on January 13,2012.  And we all know that our schedules are going to be getting busier over the next few weeks.

Grants will be available at levels of $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Applicants must:
• Be a nonprofit school or school district (public, private or charter elementary, middle or secondary) or a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working in partnership with a school or community garden.
• Have the capacity to manage grant funds responsibly and the skills and experience necessary to undertake a garden project.
• Demonstrate that the garden project has strong participation from stakeholders, including school or community leadership and volunteers.
• Demonstrate that thoughtful consideration is being given to the technical challenge of garden construction and maintenance: soil preparation, water availability, tool storage and municipal regulations.
• Articulate a plan for integrating the garden into the life of the school/community, including plan to put the garden's produce to good use. 

Here's more information on how to apply for the program.  The link includes an application form.

The New Mexico Centennial Garden Program is an initiative of the New Mexico Centennial Foundation, working in partnership with state agencies and private partners. Thanks to the generosity of the Coca Cola Foundation, the NM Centennial Foundation is able to provide grants to support school and community garden projects in New Mexico in 2012.

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