Mini-Grants Available to Create Community Gardening and Nutrition Programs in Arlington County

The Community Health Action Response Team (CHART) of Arlington County announces the availability of mini-grants to create community gardening and nutrition programs at condominiums, apartment complexes, housing shelters, and transitional housing sites. This initiative is a continuation of a project started in 2011. The goals of the program are to provide fresh produce to Arlington residents, counteract and prevent obesity, promote health and nutrition, and to encourage physical activity.

The CHART is a group of concerned citizens and representatives from various Arlington organizations who are implementing the ACHIEVE (Action Communities for Health, Innovation, and EnVironmental ChangE) grant that Arlington County’s Department of Parks and Recreation received from the National Recreation and Park Association. Mini-grant funds will be coming from this grant.

Mini-grant funds will provide for the purchase of seeds, tools, soil amendments, soil tests, storage sheds, and food and supplies for nutrition classes. Grant recipients will also receive gardening education and assistance in starting the garden from Master Gardener volunteers and nutrition classes from Master Food Volunteers. Both of these volunteer groups are managed by staff from Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE). Grant recipients will also be able to gain information about how to start a community garden by accessing a newly created guide at this site: http://www.arlingtonva.us/portals/topics/file82772.pdf

A maximum of $800 will be awarded to each grant recipient. The term for utilizing grant funds will be October 1, 2012-September 30, 2013. A maximum of three grants will be awarded.

 

Eligibility

Applicants must be condominiums, houses of worship, or 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations involved in providing housing services to low-income populations in Arlington.

 

Application Requirements

Applications should be limited to five pages, single spaced, 12-point font. Please include a cover sheet (not counted in the five page limit) with the following information: name of organization/condo association/apartment complex, address, phone number, name of contact person, email address, and phone number (if different from main phone number). Please also be sure to address the following when applying for a mini-grant:

1)           Organization information

Provide information about your organization’s mission and vision. Include names and brief bios of staff, volunteers, and residents who will lead the project. If a nonprofit, please also include proof of 501(c)3 status.

2)           Purpose and Goals

Please describe how your garden and nutrition program will benefit the people you serve and how it will be incorporated into already existing programs for residents.

3)           Outcomes

Describe how you will measure the success of your program.

4)           Impacts

Describe what you expect the long-term impacts of your program to be and how you will measure them.

5)           Sustainability Plan

Applications must include a sustainability plan explaining how the garden will be organized and managed to accommodate success in future years.  The sustainability plan should include detailed information demonstrating that the applicant has a dedicated space to place the garden and a group of residents and staff who will work to maintain the garden beyond the initial assistance of VCE staff and volunteers.

6)           Budget

Please provide a detailed listing of expected expenses. Funds are available for supplies only and cannot be used to pay salaries.

All grant recipients will be required to submit a final report within 30 days of the end of the grant period. The report should detail program results, include photos of all phases of the garden (planting, growing, harvesting), and account for all grant fund expenditures.

 

 

Grant applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on September 21, 2012. Please submit applications electronically to Jennifer Abel at jabel@vt.edu. Award decisions will be announced by October 1, 2012.

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

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