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Grants awarded to six C.O. community gardens

REDMOND, Ore. - The Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) has awarded a total of $11,998 to six community gardens in Central Oregon to help them increase their growing capacity and outreach to their communities.

In return for the funds to help build new raised beds, purchase soil, seeds, and other necessary equipment, the grantees will donate excess food to NeighborImpact (or another community food pantry) and host two community-based food skills education classes this summer.

The following is a brief summary of the 2014 Community Garden grant recipients:

• COCC Collaborative Garden, Bend ($1998) – The Collaborative Garden at Central Oregon Community College (COCC) is a student led initiative to build a community garden on campus that provides an inclusive environment of shared knowledge where people can learn to grow and grow to learn. The grant funds will be used to purchase supplies (frost cloth, hoses), soil, starts, and more.

• Franklins Corner Community Garden, 8th and Franklin, Bend ($2000) – Franklin's Corner is currently under construction and will be entirely organic, utilize water conservation techniques, and serve the Orchard District neighborhood (anyone may rent a plot for the growing season and reduced-cost plots will be available for low-income neighbors and families with children). The grant funds will be used to purchase soil for the raised beds.

• Kansas Avenue Learning Garden, 24 NW Kansas Ave, Bend ($2000) – The Kansas Ave Learning Garden embeds sustainability in local schools by providing students regular access to gardens where they can learn first-hand the connection between food and the environment. The grant funds will be used to improve greenhouse infrastructure, purchase miscellaneous garden supplies and print educational signs.

• Ward Park Community Garden, 1143 NW 9th, Prineville ($2000) – The goal of the Ward Park Community Garden is to instill self-reliance and confidence in local youth and other beginner gardeners. The maintenance of the garden is partially provided by juvenile delinquents who need to fulfill community services. The grant funds will be used to build raised beds with cold frames to start vegetables earlier in the season.

• Plainview Community Garden, 17509 Paladin Dr, Tumalo ($2000) – The Plainview Community Garden is in its fourth year and is committed to educating gardeners and members of the community about growing their own food. They donate over 2000 pounds of produce to area food banks every season. The grant funds will be used to help re-build raised beds inside greenhouses that were destroyed in this winter's snowstorm.

• Peaceful Spirit Community Garden, Warm Springs ($2000) – The Green family hosts the Peaceful Spirit Community Garden and shares their land and water with the Warm Springs community. They offer the opportunity to learn how to grow, prepare and preserve healthy food. The grant funds will be used to purchase equipment for a watering system, raised beds and fences, soil and other supplies.

These grants are provided by COIC's Cultivating Local Food project funded by Meyer Memorial Trust to support Oregon-based food system projects. More information about these and other community gardens in Central Oregon is available via the Central Oregon Food Policy Council's website:

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