New Master Gardener Mini Grant

We are delighted to announce that Linn County Master Gardeners has received our third mini grant for 2018 from Iowa State University Extension & Outreach. The Community Outreach Gardens Project will be overseeing the grant as we partner with community gardens, individual Master Gardeners, and individual community gardeners.
The main focus of this grant is to increase healthy food access for Linn County residents with low income by increasing the amount of fresh garden produce donated to area food pantries.
Goals and activities of the grant project include:

  • To start maintain or expand a minimum of 9 community garden partners, providing education/support as needed.  Our targeted gardens include Old MacDonald Farm Garden, Dept. of Correctional Services Garden, New Bo, Olivet Missions Garden, Hiawatha School Garden, Catherine McAuley Garden, Wellington Heights Neighborhood Garden, Lowe Park Community Garden, Uptown Marion Blue Zones Garden, and PrairieWoods Community Garden.
  • To donate a minimum of 5000 lbs. fresh produce to HACAP for distribution and/or to local food pantries already partnered with some of the gardens.
  • To encourage individual gardeners to “Connect, Grow, Share a Row”.
  • To provide a variety of educational workshops/presentations for growers and for families receiving the produce.

Community gardeners are invited to become a partner in the “Connect, Grow, Share a Row” part of this project.  The gardener will plant an extra row in their garden specifically for donating to HACAP for distribution to local food pantries or commit to donating extra produce from their existing garden.  The Master Gardeners will provide education/support as determined appropriate, including assistance with getting produce to HACAP if necessary.  All produce donated must be documented and weighed.
Educational presentations will be conducted at some of the garden sites throughout the growing season.  Currently sessions are scheduled with Old MacDonalds Farm at Bever Park twice monthly beginning in April.  Please refer to the Cedar Rapids Parks & Rec Facebook page for specific dates & topics.
Several of the community gardens would welcome additional help in maintaining the gardens. 
If interested in getting involved with this project, you may contact the Linn County office of ISU Extension & Outreach (377-9839) or call the Master Gardener Hortline (447-0647) to indicate your interest and you will be connected with the appropriate person.

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