[sg] Federal Agency Support of Community & School Gardens
In a message dated 99-10-21 00:35:41 EDT, you write:
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
Lucy Bradley >>
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.
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