Earth Day Event Kicks off New Community Garden Grants Program
Since the inaugural Earth Day in 1970, people across the world have celebrated the only home humans know by taking notice of the environmental effect they have on the planet. This year, we decided to do something, too!
On April 21, members of the Causes team, along with Kitchen Gardeners International founder Roger Doiron, and representatives from Odwalla, gathered together in Hunters Point, San Francisco to participate in Earth Day by volunteering for the Alice Griffith Community Garden. The garden is located in the Alice Griffith public housing unit and provides the community with fresh fruits from its plum, fig, apple, lemon, cherry, and mulberry trees. Vegetable garden beds flourish throughout the year and an assortment of onions, garlic, tomatoes, strawberries, zucchini, and other goodies make up the lush landscape.
The event capped off a fantastic campaign on Causes.com launched by Odwalla that asked people to “Spread the Goodness” for Earth Day by doing something environmentally sound for the planet. For each pledge, $1 was donated to Kitchen Gardener’s International to help fund their Sow It Forward grants program, which is helping more than 60 communities across the country to start and sustain garden projects that provide healthy food, recreation and learning opportunities for their members. Yesterday, the campaign surpassed its goal of 30,000 pledges, translating to $30,000 for community gardens across the country.
Roger Doiron, founder of KGI, flew to San Francisco from his home state of Maine and got straight to work in the garden, which is one of the Sow It Forward grant recipients. He told us via email that “while it’s nice to know that [the Sow It Forward] grants are helping garden projects in need, the opportunity to work in the garden made this particular grant all the more special. It’s very rewarding to see the progress that can be made when a group of people pitch in for a good cause.”
A typical Sow It Forward grant will range from $300-$600 worth of seeds and supplies via a cash grant and a gift certificate. In the case of the Alice Griffith Garden, the grant will help supply seedlings, seeds, and the supplies (for the drip irrigation system) of similar worth directly to the project rather than via a check or gift certificate. Roger described Sunday’s progress in a message sent to pledge-takers on Causes: “We had a amazing group of volunteers on hand to help fill boxes with compost, build a brick walkway, install a drip irrigation system and plant everything from spinach to strawberries…Thanks!”
Thanks for being an inspiration, Roger! And thanks to all of the volunteers, friends, and family members who helped. Thanks to Odwalla for providing delicious drinks and snacks. Most importantly, a heartfelt thanks to Ms. Jackie Williams and Naomi Goodman, caretakers of the Alice Griffith Community Garden, for opening up their beautiful garden and vibrant community to all of us. We can’t wait to be back!