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Press Release – New Community Garden in Kalamazoo

March 12, 2012

From a Fair Food Matters press release….

“Common Ground,” new community garden project, launches in Kalamazoo

Common Ground, a community-wide effort to promote and support gardening in neighborhoods, schools, churches and shared properties throughout Kalamazoo County, was announced today by the project’s sponsoring organizations.

A collaboration of Fair Food Matters, the Kalamazoo County Land Bank, Kalamazoo County MSU Extension/Master Gardeners and the Kalamazoo Nature Center (with funding and support provided by other organizations), Common Ground is designed to support community garden projects throughout Kalamazoo County, with a special emphasis on those that serve low-income residents.

Information and resource-sharing are at the heart of this effort, which will provide free classes and workshops, a free garden tool lending program, grants and even the prospect of land acquisition and improvement, thanks to community funds and support of organizations that recognize the value of gardens in community development.

Common Ground will be based in a new garden shed on Kalamazoo’s East Side built by volunteers and the Kalamazoo County Land Bank.

Resources offered through the project include:

  • Garden-starting grants: Grants of between $250 and $1,000 are available to help new gardeners start or improve community garden projects this spring (deadline to apply: March 31).
  • Community Garden Resource Shed: This 216-square-foot building houses garden resources (such as shovels, tillers and wheelbarrows) for Kalamazoo County residents involved in the tool-sharing program or beautification projects through the Land Bank. In exchange for volunteer time, area residents can borrow garden resources. Garden plants and seeds will also soon be available at no cost.
  • Education: Want to know how to start a community garden? Or maybe how to get rid of critters, save seeds, turn yard waste into rich compost, or water your garden using rain barrels? Common Ground partner organizations will provide classes and workshops, as well as information about other classes throughout the community.

All area community gardeners are invited to find out more about Common Ground on Saturday, April 21, during a “Very Open House” to be held on Kalamazoo’s East Side. Details will be announced soon.

For more information, visit the Common Ground Kalamazoo website at commongroundkalamazoo.com or like us on Facebook.

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