The GMGA’s purpose is to stimulate interest, increase knowledge and share their enthusiasm, interest and knowledge. One of the ways we do that is by offering grants for specific projects in communities all across Georgia.
Grants can only be applied for by active Master Gardeners, so if you have an idea for your neighborhood, please contact your local MG chapter.
If you are a MG, the latest (rev. Feb, 2013) Grant Application may be downloaded here.
Your District Director must sign your application. The list of DD’s and areas is here.
The projects which were awarded grants for the period July through November 2010 are described below.
(One of the requirements of the grant is that a report must be furnish when complete showing us all how the project was successfully carried out and what was accomplished. Some of those reports can be found here and new ones will be added as completed.)
Chatham Co. – Windsor Forest High School
The objective of this project is to encourage students and parents to engage in gardening by learning and utilizing the square foot garden method. Windsor Forest High School students in Savannah, Georgia will learn about the Square Foot Garden method and construct square foot gardens on the school premises. The students will plant and produce a wide variety of vegetables, herbs and plants with the assistance of the High School Agriscience teacher and several Georgia Master Gardeners from Chatham and Bryan Counties. Additionally, the students will learn how to prepare several different healthy dishes with the harvest and have a teacher/community lunch utilizing some of the produce. The students will in turn be empowered to share their knowledge with their friends and family in order to encourage home gardening. The gardens will be used throughout the school year hosting either Fall or Spring crops. The average number of students in the Windsor Forest High School Community that will be exposed to this method will be ninety students per year. In the summer, when school is not in session, the containers will be prepped for the next season or may contain a variety of low maintenance crops that can be enjoyed when the next school year begins.
Clarke Co. – Neighborhood Garden
The Neighborhood Garden was started in January 2009, and is located in a historic African-American neighborhood in Athens. Traditionally a lower-income area, the neighborhood is now in transition. Neighbors are a diverse group, including long-term residents, homeless people, short-term residents in drug and alcohol treatment programs, and students. From the start our approach has been to garden at low cost. The supportive community has donated many items, and several of the homeless gardeners regularly scout to recycle in the garden what has been thrown away at construction sites and in more affluent neighborhoods. The garden provides organic vegetables for the community, serves as an educational site, and is a place for diverse neighbors to meet, talk, and work together. A major goal this year is to increase our harvest so that neighbors get more vegetables by increasing soil fertility. Our leaf-mold piles, serve as a good source of added organic material, but we also need composted manure. To improve yield we also need to continue to control weeds with minimal labor, which we now do with layers of newspaper covered with pine needle mulch. In the amounts we need, both manure and pine needles are the highest-cost items in our yearly budget.
Columbia Co – Mistletoe State Park
The project we are requesting funding for is to re-establish herbs planted along a popular trail at Mistletoe State Park. Park staff along with elementary students had planted herbs along the Canyon Loop Trail several years ago. These herbs were used as interpretation tools for Park Rangers along the trail. In the winter of 2008 the park had a control burn. This burn unfortunately got hotter than anticipated and burned up the herbs. The project goal is to re-establish herbs planted along the Canyon Loop Trail for Environmental Education Learning and the enjoyment of park visitors. The objective is to utilize herbs through student’s sense of smell, touch and sight for environmental education learning. Herbs increase the opportunity for children to experience nature through their sense of smell and touch. They remember better if they not only see rosemary but also smell and touch it. The general public will also get to enjoy the smells and sights of the herbs as they hike along the trail. Each year North Columbia Elementary School fifth grade classes come to Mistletoe for an Environmental Education Adventure. Their program focuses on gardening and planting trees. The teacher has already scheduled the field trip for May 2011. Seventy-five 5th graders learn the importance of plants and soil; then have the opportunity to dig in the soil and plant a plant.
Hall Co. – Chestnut Mountain
The Junior Master Gardener program at Chestnut Mountain (known as the ‘Wonder Worms’) was started for the 2007-2008 school year with 12 student participants. In 2008, the school moved to a new facility, and the program was expanded to include 35 students. This school year, 33 students are registered for the program. This past school year, 15 – 5th graders were certified as Junior Master Gardeners. At present, two school teachers and six Master Gardener volunteers from Hall County coordinate the program. The school has provided a large area of the school grounds for the JMG garden, known as the “Wonder Garden”. Under the auspices of the Junior Master Gardener Program, the “Wonder Garden” continues to grow and expand. Since the inception of the garden, the garden has started literally from ground zero to one that now encompasses a large perennial garden, 20 raised–bed gardens for vegetables and flowers, two large composting bins, a large arbor, an enclosed garden shed, a permanent perimeter fence, gutters and downspouts feeding two large rain barrels, and the planting of 8 large red maple trees, six large river birch, two large crepe myrtle, and three peach trees. The requested grant money is to fund a new combination perennial and annual flower garden.
Jackson Co. – Kings Bridge Middle School
Kings Bridge’s garden design will include four 4 feet x 8 feet raised beds accessed to a composting area, two rain barrels and an area for students to mix soil. The area is located adjacent to the school’s greenhouse that will allow students to begin crops during colder months before transplanting them into the garden. Garden maintenance will be done by members of the FFA, FCCLA organizations, sixth grade science classes and students enrolled in the agriculture class at Kings Bridge Middle School. Also to connect the garden with the curriculum, Georgia’s sixth grade science standards include the study of soil and water. A representative from Clarke County Water Conservation will visit our school to teach students how to make a rain barrel and the importance of conserving water. The agriculture class will utilize the garden during the school year and FFA members along with the FFA advisor will maintain the garden lab during the summer months. Other participants will include Jackson County 4-H Club and Jackson Creative, an adult disabled agency, and student’s families will assist with summer maintenance. The produce that will be harvested will be donated to a local food bank and used as part of the student’s supervised agriculture experience.
Muscogee Co. – Pollinator Garden
Pollinators such as birds, bats and insects play an invaluable role in producing our food supply- pollinator species provide significant environmental benefits that are essential for maintaining healthy diverse ecosystems. There are few educational opportunities for youth and their parents to participate in that inform them of the importance pollination plays in our environment and well-being and the practices that homeowners can incorporate into their home garden to be good environmental stewards. Since the Columbus Botanical Garden’s Mission is to preserve a portion of the rapidly diminishing open space in Columbus and to provide the public with a unique educational facility that is based on environmental awareness, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension collaborates with the garden and provides the educational component for its visitors. In conjunction with installing the garden with appropriate signage, Master Gardeners will provide a series of training opportunities to adults on gardening with pollinator friendly practices and using the components of Integrated Pest Management for effective control of pests while limiting damage to beneficial insects and other animals.
Muscogee Co. - Signage for Walker-Peters-Langdon House
The Walker-Peters-Langdon House was built in 1828 and is considered the oldest house in the original city of Columbus. Several accessory structures were moved from other proprieties and include a slave house, a drying house, an outhouse and a dovecote. The kitchen garden was reconstructed at the time the Historic Columbus Foundation acquired the Walker-Peters-Langdon House in 1967. Master Gardener involvement began about 2004, with 2 members working to reclaim what was a very overgrown area. The 2008 MG class became involved with the Garden during training and many continued, forming a core group of “WPL” workers. A combination of excellent research, planning, group discussions and just plain hard work has made the Kitchen Garden a showplace. The purpose of this grant is to select and maintain appropriate plants (flowers, vegetables, trees and herbs) found in a House Garden typical of the 1860’s educate visitors in understanding the importance of the Kitchen Garden to the early families assist visitors in identifying plants and their common use for the 1860’s through labeling of individual plants and placards with overviews of the herb, vegetable, outbuildings and “Kitchen Garden” educate visitors about the preservation method of drying vegetables & fruits (drying shed) educate other Master Gardeners of the historical usage of plants expand the plantings and the educational material within the Garden increase public awareness of the Garden through Community presentations update information (brochures, plant labels) as the Garden evolves.
Perry Houston Co. – Tucker Elementary
In the summer of 2010, Teddie Berry conducted training for teachers interested in starting a Junior Master Gardener Program at their schools. Tucker Elementary in Perry, GA sent representatives to that training, and they now have a team of 5 who are running their program. These same teachers will be trained in the summer of 2011 in our School Master Gardener Program. Parent involvement from the Tucker neighborhood is high, as is faculty interest in what JMG is doing. We would complete this project on a Saturday morning when faculty, parents, and student volunteers could join Master Gardeners in improving their community in a way that can be appreciated by thousands of people every day. The project gives Master Gardeners a chance to teach the students—and all the adults—about good landscaping principles, including the WaterSaver basics we learn in the Advanced Class here in Houston County. By teaching a few members of the community, we can reach so many more.