FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 21, 2016
City of Atlanta Urban Agriculture Expansion Project Receives $40,000 Grant Through U.S. Conference of Mayors Partnership with ScottsMiracle-Gro
ATLANTA – The City of Atlanta announced today that it has received a $40,000 grant for its Urban Agriculture Expansion Project. The announcement was made at the 84th winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM). The ScottsMiracle-Gro Company partnered with USCM to award grants through GRO1000, its landmark garden and green space development grant program. The City of Atlanta was one of four winners, including New York, NY; Providence, RI; and St. Louis, MO.
The winning cities were chosen by a panel of former mayors and national garden experts. GRO1000 grant winners each receive a total of $40,000 in monetary support and in-kind donations, to develop gardens and green spaces that will help transform their communities.
“I am pleased to accept this award from The ScottsMiracle-GroCompany, through its partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, to support the City’s Urban Agriculture Expansion Project,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “Broadening access to urban agriculture and eliminating food deserts are major components in achieving my goal of making Atlanta a top tier city for sustainability. This award will support our efforts while bringing tangible, positive changes to the communities served by the Project.”
The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability designed the Atlanta Urban Agriculture Expansion Project, which will connect and expand three urban agriculture programs across the city. These include the city’s ten successful fire station vegetable gardens, which provide firefighters with fresh, naturally grown vegetables and herbs as a healthy supplement for their fire station meals, and serve as teaching and demonstration gardens for the surrounding communities.
The grant will also benefit urban agriculture projects in Atlanta’s historic Vine City neighborhood and within the Atlanta University Center’s four historically black colleges and universities. Anchoring the two gardening projects is a partnership with the Covenant House. As a shelter for at-risk and homeless teens, Covenant House will create a program to provide vegetable seedlings to local area gardens and create a job training and social enterprise project for their youth residents. These projects will be led by Mario Cambardella, the City of Atlanta’s new Urban Agriculture Director, and overseen by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability Director Stephanie Stuckey Benfield.
“The Urban Agriculture Expansion Project will help us realize our Power to Change sustainability goals, which aim to bring local, healthy food within a half-mile of 75 percent of all Atlanta residents by the year 2020,” said Stephanie Stuckey Benfield. “The Office of Sustainability looks forward to putting this important grant to work.”
“We believe that our cities are made better when they have more gardens and greenspaces,” said Jim Hagedorn, ScottsMiracle-Gro Chairman and CEO. “We’re proud to continue our innovative partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to support local programs that are improving the lives of people in communities across the nation through gardening.”
The GRO1000 program is part of ScottsMiracle-Gro’s commitment to support the creation of more than 1,000 community gardens and green spaces in the U.S., Canada and Europe by 2018, in conjunction with its 150th anniversary. To that end, more than 680 community projects have received GRO1000 funding. For more information, visit www.GRO1000.com and follow ScottsMiracle-Gro on Twitter at twitter.com/Scotts_MGro.