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Grants for Gardens – Get Your Application in Before It’s too Late!

November 19, 2010
Thunder-hail - The Icing on the Portland Project Orange Thumb 2010 Garden

Thunder-hail - The Icing on the Portland Project Orange Thumb 2010 Garden

Quite often I’m approached by non-profits, schools, community centers, public gardens, historical gardens and other struggling organizations seeking donations. Groups like this are constantly struggling to stay afloat and build new learning opportunities and beautiful spaces. The economy is tough right now. Donations are down, communities are strapped, but that doesn’t mean a community as to go without the financial assistance necessary to get their gardens growing! Sure small donations from folks like me help, but why not tap into those with deeper and quite generous pockets as well?

Each year Fiskars® grants over $50,000 in tools and cash toward the development of gardens all over the world. Each year they accept applications from communities in need and from those applications select 10 winners to each receive a $5000 “Project Orange Thumb” grant. Five grand may not seem like an awful lot, but really it goes quite a long way. Matched with the enthusiasm and labor of your community, some pretty amazing transformations happen quickly.

Plus, it isn’t hard to apply for the program. Why not? You have nothing to lose and a fantastic garden to (potentially) win! Read on for details and deadlines.

In early Spring of 2010, I teamed up with Joe Lamp’l of Growing a Greener World TV, the Portland community and Fiskars to design and help build a community garden in a day. Okay, to be honest, Joe, myself and a few other die-hard gardeners, Fiskars employees and photographers showed up a day earlier to grid out the space. But, really it was the amazing volunteer efforts the next day that ensured we pulled this thing off — just before the hail thundered out of the sky late that afternoon.

Portland Project Orange Thumb® Community Garden-To Be

Portland Project Orange Thumb Community Garden-To Be

Being a part of building community and giving back to the community in a hands-on way is one of my greatest passions. And, we all know how I feel about actually gardening. You can imagine how fun and rewarding it was to combine my passion for teaching in the garden with my strong belief in giving back. I loved seeing how happy and enthusiastic the entire community was in receiving this fantastic gift. One they now own and care for themselves, together.

Fiskars Project Orange Thumb Commity Garden Completed

Fiskars Project Orange Thumb Commity Garden Completed

If you have a great idea for a new garden that will help your community or if you’re involved with a project that needs some help with renovation, apply now! You have until December 31, 2010 to complete your submission. If your application is among the winners, you will find out in early February. Grant distributions begin in April. I can’t guarantee I’ll be there to help you install, but you never know…

Details on the program as well as grant application forms are available here.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I do write for Fiskars® on a paid basis. This article and my efforts in Portland were donated. I have received no compensation for this article.)

1 Comment

  1. Daisy says:

    Thanks for the link! I teach in a low-income neighborhood, and we’re working on setting up a community garden. Grants like this are exactly what we need.

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