Award Will Support Campus Farm’s Urban Agriculture & Community Food-Growing Efforts during Covid
Jun 19, 2020
The U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) and American Public Gardens Association have partnered to offer immediate support to established urban agriculture and other urban food-growing programs at public gardens affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, the USBG and the Association awarded $378,000 to 28 public gardens across the United States to help sustain urban agriculture and community food growing during this challenging time. The Urban Agriculture Resilience Program aims to promote resilience, grow capacity, prevent shortfalls, and gather best practices from established programs across the U.S. public gardens community.
The University of Michigan Campus Farm at Matthaei Botanical Gardens is one of the recipients. The farm will ramp up production of food to be donated to the U-M Maize and Blue Cupboard, thanks to a $15,000 award from USBG and APGA’s Resilience Program. The Maize and Blue Cupboard’s mission is to ensure members of the University of Michigan community receive equitable access to food.
“The award will allow us to leverage our existing infrastructure to grow more food for our community, including food donations to the Maize and Blue Cupboard and or other local food banks and food access organizations.” explains Jeremy Moghtader, Campus Farm manager.
“The award will also help us continue to operate the farm as a living-learning laboratory for sustainable food systems work on campus,” Moghtader adds. The continuation of operations also maintains the farm for teaching and learning opportunities in sustainable food systems to our community.
With the assistance of these funds, participating gardens in 19 states and Washington, D.C. will be able to grow and distribute produce, especially to communities with food access challenges; maintain and expand urban agriculture and other food growing education programs; and promote wellness and nutrition by educating the public about growing and consuming fruits and vegetables. Beyond providing immediate support, the Urban Agriculture Resilience Program will provide insight into successful approaches and future opportunities for public gardens—though varying program models—to improve food access and advance food and agriculture education in urban communities, particularly during times of crisis.
“Especially now, during this unprecedented health and economic crisis, communities need access to healthy, fresh foods. We are proud to be able to support our fellow public gardens in their vital work of helping local communities grow and gain access to more fruits and vegetables and achieve better nutrition,” said Saharah Moon Chapotin, executive director of the U.S. Botanic Garden.
“We appreciate the fantastic work public gardens across America are doing every day to support communities to provide horticultural knowledge and food security, especially during this very challenging time,” said Casey Sclar, executive director of the American Public Gardens Association.
Gardens awarded funding include:
Atlanta Botanical Garden, Georgia
Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, New York
Cape Fear Botanical Garden, North Carolina
Delaware Center for Horticulture, Delaware
Denver Botanic Gardens, Colorado
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Ohio
Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Alabama
Friends of the National Arboretum, Washington, D.C.
Georgeson Botanical Garden, Alaska
Grumblethorpe Historic House and Gardens, Pennsylvania
Idaho Botanical Garden, Idaho
Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum, Tennessee
Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, University of Michigan, Michigan
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Minnesota
North Carolina Botanical Garden, North Carolina
Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, North Carolina
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Pennsylvania
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pennsylvania
Queens Botanical Garden, New York
San Antonio Botanical Garden, Texas
Santa Fe Botanical Garden, New Mexico
State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Georgia
The Gardens on Spring Creek, Colorado
Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Massachusetts
University of Maryland Community Learning Garden, Maryland
University of Tennessee Gardens, Tennessee
University of Washington Botanic Gardens, Washington
In addition, the U.S. Botanic Garden has expanded a previously existing collaboration with the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Windy City Harvest to support programming that will provide fresh produce and nutrition education to people with diet-related diseases who are also experiencing food insecurity.
About the United States Botanic Garden
The United States Botanic Garden (USBG) is the oldest continuously operating public Garden in the United States. The Garden informs visitors about the importance and fundamental value and diversity of plants, as well as their aesthetic, cultural, economic, therapeutic, and ecological significance. With over a million visitors annually, the USBG strives to demonstrate and promote sustainable practices. The U.S. Botanic Garden is a living plant museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and Botanic Gardens Conservation International. www.USBG.gov
About the American Public Gardens Association
The American Public Gardens Association is the leading professional organization for the field of public horticulture. We advance the field by encouraging best practices, offering educational and networking opportunities, and advocating on behalf of our members, our programs and public gardens worldwide. We work together with our members and others to strengthen and shape public horticulture, providing the tools and support industry professionals need to better serve the public while preserving and celebrating plants creatively and sustainably.
Since 1940, we have been committed to increasing cooperation and awareness among gardens. Our members include more than 600 institutions, spanning 49 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and 20 countries. Our members include, but are not limited to, botanic gardens, arboreta, zoos, museums, colleges and universities, display gardens, and research facilities.