The world of gardening has experienced a well-deserved boom over the last year as people look to become more self-sustainable during challenging times. Community gardens, in particular, are playing a crucial role in providing nutritious, fresh fruits and vegetables to cities and neighborhoods everywhere.
Beyond reducing food miles and offering people truly fresh produce, community gardens also help build connections between neighbors and get people active. They’re a source of education, enjoyment, and can help relieve stress, anxiety, and other health problems. They’re a perfect solution for people living in urban areas where land is either non-existent or comes at a premium.
Nature’s Path Gardens for Good Program
Certain initiatives are recognizing the beneficial impacts community gardens are having across North America, such as the Nature’s Path Gardens for Good program. The certified organic breakfast and snack food company has awarded 22 grants to deserving organizations.
More than 350 grant applications were submitted; Nature’s Path says the high volume is heartwarming proof of how communities have rallied together over the last year. During the program’s selection process, special consideration was given to gardens serving BIPOC communities, which have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
The 22 selected community gardens are each receiving $5,000 to support local gardening efforts.
While each of the winners offers something different, what they all have in common is the desire to offer nutritious, local foods, community gathering spots, and educational programs on gardening and food preparation. These valuable tools help build healthy and strong communities.
“After a year of physical distancing, it feels wonderful to celebrate so many gardens that are bringing their local communities together in a healthy way,” says Jyoti Stephens, VP Mission and Strategy at Nature’s Path. “After such a challenging year, it’s time to get back to the roots of good health and happiness. That’s what these gardens do.”
And The Winners Are…
The winners of the Gardens For Good grants include:
- AfriThrive Garden
- Alief Community Garden
- Arcata Community Health and Wellness Garden
- Arma Community Garden
- Ashamaawaso (s/he feeds a child)
- Black Urban Farmers Association
- Cheyenne River Youth Project Winyan Toka Win Garden
- Cowichan Green Community’s The Inclusion Garden
- Food Strong Learning Garden
- Galiano School Garden
- Gardeneers Piccolo School Garden
- Harris Health System’s LBJ Hospital Community Farm
- Jubilee Community Garden Society
- Manna Meal Community Garden
- Mohawk Seedkeepers
- Odyssey Charter School Garden
- Painted Turtle Farm
- South Los Angeles Community Farm
- The Ben Jones Community Garden at The HUUB
- The Gathering Place Garden
- The Healing Garden at Ferry Lane Farm
- Trellis for Tomorrow