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[sg] Federal Agency Support of Community & School Gardens

In a message dated 99-10-21 00:35:41 EDT, you write:

<< reetings!
 I have an opportunity tomorrow to meet with representatives of United 
 States Department of Agriculture, the Department of Education, and Housing 
 and Urban Development to discuss how they might more effectively support 
 community and school gardens. What suggestions to you have about how they 
 might help?
 Lucy Bradley >>

Lucy -- 

How exciting!  I hope they will look at the whole country and support the 
concepts. I think they should provide funding to support hands on education 
(ie community and school gardens) that is available at the individual school 
level. They have offered opportunities at the system level, but in our town, 
the system is not as willing to pursue garden programs as official 
curriculum, but they will "look the other way" if a school is developing such 
programs individually. The larger agencies could also provide grant 
incentives to systems to support community and school garden programs, much 
like they do for Title 1 reading. As the farm base in this country shrinks, I 
think it is in USDA's interest to support gardening programs on all levels. 
It could also come through the established 4-H network, rather than inventing 
all new funding mechanisms. By this, they could increase 4-H funding, with 
garden programs  given an administrative priority/ mandated increase. It 
seems to me that HUD has ample access to housing sites that would benefit 
from funding for "Victory Garden" type plots. They could tie into research to 
long-term effects by looking at NYC's community garden efforts, among others. 
This could be a "millenium baseline year" with the thought of multi-year 
funding. Such funding would seem to provide program stability and increase 
the likelyhood of program success. Much like the 1 % arts set asides, they 
could mandate a 1% garden set aside when they do HUD project renovations to 
provide an urban source of garden capitol.
Just my morning's 2 cents.

Ann English

community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

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