Grassroots Gardens is the beneficiary of $65,000 in grant funding that was procured by NYS Assemblyman Sean Ryan.
The funding came from two grants that were issued by the New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP).
A $40,000 Catalyst Grant will be used to build a partnership between city of Buffalo students and the Buffalo Audubon Society. The relationship will allow the students to learn about the socio-economic impact that the gardens have on our neighborhoods, aside from the mere aesthetic beauty that they provide. Educating students by immersion into Grassroots Gardens’ school gardens, allows the students to understand where their food comes from, and the importance of nature, organic foods, etc.
A $25,000 Capacity Grant will allow Grassroots Gardens to accomplish a threefold goal. The organization will partner with Greenprint Niagara, a peer organization in Niagara Falls, to collaborate on projects when deemed necessary. By combining shares resources, it can only help to strengthen both groups and their missions. The grant will also allow Grassroots Gardens to better understand soil safety and sustainability, as the issues pertain to urban gardens. Finally, the grant will serve to allow the organization to tackle long-term stewardship issues, which is key, considering the growth of the operation year to year. Establishing the gardens is one thing. Maintaining 94 community gardens effectively, is crucial if the program is to sustain itself in the long run.
Assemblyman Sean Ryan said “This investment from New York State will help to continue the great work Grassroots Gardens does in our community. Expanding the number of community gardens, and educating students about the importance of gardening and urban greenspace will help Buffalo’s West Side continue to grow and prosper.”
Melissa Fratello, Grassroots Gardens’ Executive Director said “Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo has facilitated the creation of community gardens for over 20 years, but it is investments like this that give us the opportunity to develop these assets, utilizing the gardens as mechanisms for education, health, nutrition and civic engagement. Through both the Conservation Catalyst and Capacity awards, we will work strategically with partner organizations to broaden our reach and increase our overall impact, boosting youth involvement in local food and conservation movements, and influencing new generations to adopt healthy and sustainable lifestyles through the power of the community garden.”