Community Garden receives grant from Kansas Project

April 18, 2012

The Concordia Community Garden of Hope has been awarded a $2,150 grant through the Kansas Community Gardens Project, a joint initiative of the Kansas Health Foundation and K-State Research and Extension. The Concordia garden is one of only 24 projects in the state to receive this funding, which will help pay to build raised garden beds for those with limited mobility and to purchase compost tumblers.

The Concordia Community Garden, on the northeast corner of the Nazareth Motherhouse property at 13th and Broadway streets, opened for its third growing season earlier this month. There are 32 plots that are rented by people from throughout Concordia, with the Sisters of St. Joseph providing use of the land as well as water, mulch and seasonal maintenance.

From fostering a greater level of community involvement, to providing healthy foods for schools and nonprofit events, to the personal health of individuals, community garden projects can make a lasting and positive impact on their communities. Through the Kansas Community Gardens Project, the Kansas Health Foundation and K-State Research and Extension look to spread these benefits throughout Kansas by providing not only the grant funds, but also information and assistance to help make the individual garden projects successful community ventures.

Grant recipients were selected through a competitive application process, which drew interest from organizations and gardens throughout the state. The Kansas Community Gardens Project is a three-year initiative, with this year’s recipients representing the first of more than 60 gardens that will eventually join the program.

“This grant has provided a tremendous opportunity for reaching out across the state to help people grow their own fresh produce. We anticipate a significant number of people will be impacted by this generous award as our goal is that each of these gardens still be thriving in a sustainable way in 10 years,” said Dr. Cheryl Boyer, assistant professor and extension specialist, ornamental nursery crops, with K-State Research and Extension. “We are proud of the quality, variety and geographic coverage of the proposals we received this year and that we were able to fund so many great projects.”

“As winter turns into spring, people naturally begin thinking about getting outside and starting a garden,” said Steve Coen, president and CEO of the Kansas Health Foundation. “Through the Kansas Community Gardens Project, our hope is that people will take that desire and energy and channel it into contributing to a community garden for the benefit of their entire community.”

For more information about the Concordia Community Garden or to learn how you can participate, contact Cecilia Thrash at Manna House of Prayer, 785-243-4428 or retreatcenter@mannahouse.org.

To speak with someone in more detail about the Kansas Community Gardens Project, please contact Cheryl Boyer (785-532-3504 or crboyer@ksu.edu) or Evelyn Neier (785-410-3760 or eneier@ksu.edu).