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American Community Gardening Association
1777 East Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43203
(877) ASK-ACGA

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The Franklin Park Conservatory
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2012 Board of Directors

Executive Committee:
Bobby L. Wilson, President
Bill Maynard, Vice President
Christine Pardee, Secretary
Edie Stone, Treasurer

Kirsten Conrad Buhls
Kristin Faurest
Vicki Fitts
Maree Gaetani
LaManda Joy
Caroline Kiang
Susan Leibrock
Chris Lowe
Monika McCurdy
Charlie Monroe
Justin Garrett Moore
Cathy Walker
Sandra Zuniga

News from the
American Community Gardening Association

May 2012

In This Issue

A Message from Beth Urban

"The world‘s favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May."
- Edwin Way Teale

Spring seemed to arrive early this year with record highs in March.  April came and spring decided to give a little more time to the winter season for so many of us!  The colder weather gave us a chance at ACGA to finish the 2012 “Community Gardening on the Cutting Edge” website.  Registration is now open and you can find all of the details at  We hope you will join us for 4 days full of great workshops, tours, silent auction, food and Roger Dorrion as our keynote speaker!

We also were able to start our individual donor campaign.  We had a very generous offer to match any donations to ACGA up to $6,000 total until May 31, 2012.  Please consider supporting us to reach our $6,000 goal in donations!  Whether it is $5 or $500, every donation takes ACGA closer to reaching our vision of a sustainable community in every garden.  You can donate online at

Thank you for making ACGA a great organization and happy spring planting!


2012 Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi/ACGA Grant program Giving Through Growing in Community Gardens

To support sustainable community gardening efforts, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi will assist ACGA in recognizing established or developing community gardens with grants of up to $1,000. You or your organization must be a member of ACGA to apply for this award.  To apply for the award, please submit your completed application to the ACGA National Office by June 1, 2012. Click here for more information and the application.

Giving Through Growing Logo

Matching Grant - We Need Your Support!

We are reaching out to you today because we need your support with a matching grant that will allow ACGA to continue to build stronger connections between individuals, their community and food. ACGA has partnered with a donor to match other individual donations up to $6,000 total. Donate today!

2012 Annual Conference Register Now!


33rd Annual American Community Gardening Association National Conference

"Community Gardening On the Cutting Edge"
Thursday, August 9 - Sunday, August 12, 2012
Hilton Financial District, 750 Kearny Street
San Francisco, CA

Early Bird Rate until June 30!  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Conference Logo

ACGA is partnering with the Land Trust Alliance

Many land trusts have that knowledge and experience in a rural context, which could be used in an urban context as well.  The Land Trust Alliance database manager created a list of land conservation organizations that either have ‘garden’ in their title or have indicated on our 2010 census that ‘urban parks, gardens or open spaces’ were ‘very’ or ‘extremely important’ priorities.  Please email for a copy of this list.  The Land Trust Alliance has also offered to make local introductions, help to gauge interest in, or facilitate any kind of working arrangement between a land trust and a community garden group on a land acquisition project or other partnership role.

Your Garden is Invited to Participate in National Public Lands Day

National Public Lands DayACGA is partnering with National Public Lands Day to celebrate community garden volunteers and bring attention to the positive influence of public gardens to the United States. Host a volunteer event on Saturday, September 29th and your garden can be a part of the nation’s largest one-day volunteer event for public lands.

For 19 years, National Public Lands Day has encouraged volunteerism at public lands ranging from urban pocket parks to large national parks, such as the Grand Canyon. In 2011, more than 180,000 people volunteered at 2,067 events in every state as well as U.S. territories.

National Public Lands Day is dedicated to increasing the participation of community gardens for the 2012 event and recognizing them as vital public lands that benefit environmental and community health.

If your community garden participates in National Public Lands Day, it will not be alone! Last year, more than 30 community gardens participated in National Public Lands Day including:
•    Boone Street Garden, Baltimore, Md.
•    Newberry Math & Science Academy Garden, Chicago, Ill.
•    Adam Rogers Community Garden, San Francisco, Calif.
•    James Park Community Garden, Evanston, Ill.
•    Pittman-Sullivan Community Garden, San Antonio, Texas

Join the nationwide celebration of public lands! Host and register an event for National Public Lands Day - Saturday, September 29th, 2012. You can now register your event at

Also, the Every Day capacity building grants will be launching on April 2nd for the second round of applicants.  The grant cycle will be open for about 7 weeks.  Friends groups that you work with can apply through

May Experts Panel for ACGA Members

These Expert Panels, which are open to all ACGA members,
are an informative time to connect and learn with other ACGA members.
To become an ACGA member,  click here.   

 Join us for
the May Experts Panel

Garden Mosaics

With Dr. Marianne Krasny

Wednesday, May 9, 2012
1:00pm Eastern | 12:00pm Central | 11:00am Mountain | 10:00pm Pacific

ACGA is excited to host Dr. Krasny as she discusses Garden Mosaics, an informal garden-based curriculum focused on intergenerational learning, and other environmental education opportunities.  This curriculum was developed by Cornell University and is a great environmental education tool that can be utilized by community gardens.  

Speaker Bio:
Dr. Marianne Krasny is a professor, department chair, and Director of the Civic Ecology Lab at Cornell University. She has 25 years experience developing science education materials for 4-H, school, and other youth audiences, primarily in urban areas. Her applied research focuses on outcomes of community gardening and other civic ecology practices on youth, community, and environmental well-being.


To register,  Once your ACGA membership has been verified, you will receive a confirmation email. 

Upcoming Growing Communities Workshop

The next workshop will be

June 8-9, Phoenix, AZ

October 24-26, Tanglewood Park, NC

For information regarding these workshops, contact Laura Lavid.

To learn more about the workshop and how you can host one in your community, go to

Advocacy Update

Senate Ag Committee Approves a Farm Bill

The Senate Agriculture Committee approved the Agricultural Reform, Food and Jobs Act (Farm Bill) in a bipartisan 16-5 vote. The bill includes $23 billion in savings over 10 years by cutting $15 billion from the Commodity Title, $6 billion from Conservation programs and $4 billion from nutrition programs.

The bill includes increased funding for community food security programs and local food initiatives including:

  • Community Food Projects Program – Doubling mandatory funding for this program to $10 million per year
  • Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program - Expanding the Farmers Market Promotion Program to include developing food hubs and doubling funding to $20 million in mandatory funds per year for five years
  • Hunger-Free Community Incentive Grants – A new local fruit and vegetable incentive grant program to increase purchases by SNAP customers at farmers markets and other healthy food retailers with mandatory funding totaling $100 million over five years
  • Specialty Crop Block Grants - Funding increased to $70 million per year for five years from the current level of $55 million
  • Healthy Food Financing Initiative - Authorization for funding up to $125 million
  • Improving ease of SNAP Redemption at Farmers Markets, Mobile Markets and CSAs- Authority to establish pilot programs to test mobile technology and online ordering as well as ease SNAP redemption at Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs)
  • Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program - Mandatory funding maintained at $20 million per year
The $4 billion cut from the Nutrition title mirrors last fall‘s cut in the Super Committee proposal and is significantly better than last week’s House Ag Committee vote to cut $33 billion from the program for deficit reduction.

The Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act (ARFJA) eliminates the direct and counter cyclical payment programs and includes a payment limit for farmers and a maximize size for farms to received federal farm support, important reforms to the flawed agriculture subsidy system. It also includes support (albeit at reduced levels) for beginning farmer programs, key organic provisions and instructions to USDA to create crop insurance that will serve the needs of small and diversified farmers.

The bill does not include mandatory funding for the 2501 Outreach and Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers program.

Policy update courtesy of the Community Food Security Coalition.

On the ACGA Website: ACGA Committees

Are you interested in getting more involved?  Check out our various committees!

Spotlight on Community: Armstrong Court Community Organic Garden

This month, we are spotlighting the Armstrong Court Community Organic Garden in Greenwich, Connecticut, with an interview with Patty Sechi, Founder and Garden Director.  Patty is an active contributor to the ACGA email listserve and a long-time organic gardener.

Armstrong Court Community Organic Garden

Patty Sechi, with gardener Alex.

Armstrong Court Community Organic Garden

A successful growing season! 

Armstrong Court Community Organic Garden

A pergola provides a space to relax together and to have gardening classes, seed and plant give-aways, shared meals and even musical events

Armstrong Court Community Organic Garden

The most recent project has been the addition of 75 raised beds to the garden. They were graciously built by local contractor, Frank Spoto and Whole Foods Market Greenwich helped raise the money for the lumber and filled the beds with certified organic composted soil.

Q.) Tell us about the Armstrong Court Community Organic Garden.

The Armstrong Court Community Organic Garden was founded in April 2009 by a volunteer leadership group of seven, dedicat­ed to organic gardening, sustainable living and the belief that community gardens can enhance and change health, wellness and the attitudes of the gardeners it serves. We are located at Armstrong Court Public Housing Complex in Greenwich, CT. Our 15,000 square foot garden includes thirty-four 9’ x 25’ individual plots and over a dozen 4’x8’ individual plots, plus two garden sheds filled with tools, eight wheelbarrows, a native garden, a shared garden space, a pergola with seating for gatherings and garden classes, a compost area and a message center. We have two church groups that are growing their gardens entirely for donation to our local food bank. Our garden plots are open to all members of the community, but Housing Authority residents have first priority.

Our garden is funded entirely through our sponsors and donations, and the small fees that we charge for plots. Our large group of supporters and volunteers continue to help us realize our dream of creating and sustaining this organic, community garden "hub" where we not only grow vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers, but just as important, wonderful friendships and connections that would not otherwise have occurred. Our gardeners and volunteers report that they are happier and healthier since they started working together in the garden, and the evidence is apparent in the smiles on their faces, even after a long hard day of garden work.

Read More

Featured Event : Farm to Cafeteria Conference

Communities across the country are digging in to Farm to Cafeteria programs– in schools, preschools, hospitals, colleges, prisons and other institutions.  Join the National Farm to School Network in stunning Burlington, Vermont for the 6th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference August 2-5 to learn about and be part of this rapidly growing movement.

Enjoy skill-building short-courses, field trips to Vermont farms and institutions, inspiring speakers and a diverse workshop program. Above all, meet and network with folks who are working hard to connect their communities to local, farm-fresh food. For more information, visit


Click the READ MORE link below to read about events in:

Alfred, NY | Annandale-on-Hudson, NY | Baltimore, MD | Berkeley, CA | Bolivia | Bovina, NY | Brooklyn, NY | Burlington, VT | Chicago, IL | Cuba | Dane and Green Counties, WI | Dartmouth, MA | Dehradun, India | Denver, CO | Edmonston, MD | Ellenville, NY | Eugene, Oregon to Washington, DC | Fort Collins, CO | Gays Mills, WI | Greater Washington DC | Havana, Cuba | Indianola, MS | Ithaca, NY | Kutztown, PA | Kyiv, Ukraine | Langdon, NH | Lincoln, NE | Long Beach, CA | Milwaukee, WI | Minneapolis, MN | Moorhead, MN | New York City | North Carolina | Philadelphia, PA | Pinedale, WY | Pittsboro, NC | Portland, OR | Puyallup, WA | River Falls, WI | San Francisco, CA | Santa Clara, CA | Santa Cruz, CA | Saratoga, NY | Smith, NV | Stevinson, CA | Tarrytown, NY | Tubingen, Germany | Unity, ME | Venezuela | Washington, DC | Waterloo, Ontario | webinar | Western PA and Eastern Ohio |
Read More

Funds for Community Gardens

Grow to Learn NYC mini-grants
Deadline: Tuesday, May 01, 2012
For: New York City

Who May Apply: NYC schools

Grow to Learn NYC is accepting applications for mini-grants of $500 to $2,000 to start or enhance a learning garden program at New York City public and charter schools. To apply, schools must register the garden and submit the mini-grant application at by May 1, 2012. Need help with the application? Attend our grant-writing workshop at 3pm on 4/10 at 51 Chambers Street. RSVP at or (212) 788-7923.

Michigan 2012 – 2013 Farm to School Grants
Deadline: Friday, May 04, 2012
For: Michigan

MI Farm to School Grant Program is to initiate and expand farm to school programs across the state. The MI Farm to School Planning Grant will help schools and early childcare programs plan for integrating fresh, local foods into cafeterias AND ultimately develop a Farm to School Action Plan to implement a farm to school program after the grant year.

Action for Healthy Kids 2012-2013 School Grants for Healthy Kids Application for Funds
Deadline: Saturday, May 05, 2012
For: United States

Who May Apply: Schools must participate in the National School Lunch Program and National School Breakfast Program; and must have a free/reduced priced meal eligibility greater than 50% to be eligible. Priority selection will be given to schools with student enrollment greater than 500 students.

Over 500 schools will be awarded $1,000 to $5,000 (average $2,000) with significant in-kind contributions from Action for Healthy Kids in the form of people, programs, and school nutrition expertise. We’ll also provide schools with management expertise and support to develop strong nutrition programs around school breakfast, competitive foods, summer meals, access to healthy food and nutrition education

Website: ...

Read More

Other resources: Foundation Center Webinars

New to fundraising or want to expand your current funding sources? The Foundation Center has a prerecorded series of webinars as well as webinar events available for free. Topics include: Your Board and Fundraising, Foundations and Their Role in Philanthropy, Principios de la escritura de propuestas, and Proposal Budgeting Basics. Learn more here.

ACGA Member Discounts and Partnerships

Gardener‘s Supply Company

Nonprofit gardeners may call our Commercial Accounts number: 888-511-2132 for up to 25% discount on orders. is a company that helps non-profits like ours raise funds through the everyday actions of our supporters.  Here is how you can help:

  • Use when you shop online – they work with more than 2,500 major brands, have over 100,000 coupons and donate a percentage of every purchase you make to us
Please join our community and help us raise money for ACGA’s mission.

Kroger Community Rewards

Kroger is committed to helping our communities grow and prosper. Year after year, local schools, churches and other non-profit organizations will earn millions of dollars through our Community Rewards Program.  If you live in Ohio, Michigan or West Virginia, please register online.  ACGA’s organization number is 80844.

Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply

Our garden friends at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply, a long time promoter of sustainable and organic seeds and agricultural supplies, have given ACGA members a gift for the 2012 growing season. Peaceful Valley Farm Supply offers a 10% discount on first-tier items featured in the main catalogue. For larger purchases (generally 10 or more of the same item) there is 5% off second-tier pricing. A few items are exempt from this offer. To start your discount, please fax (530-272-4794) a copy of your American Community Gardening Association membership card. A discount will be subtracted from each order, and your card will be on file.

ARTichoke T-Shirt Company

ACGA is please to announce a partnership with ARTichoke T-Shirt Company.  ARTichoke will donate 10% of their profits to ACGA.  All ARTichoke‘s tee‘s are hand printed with water based ink for the best eco-friendly choice.  Every T-shirt purchased benefits ACGA!

Support ACGA This Year

As we plan our spring gardens and follow up with new friends and old that we met through community gardening, now is a great time to find ways to support the ACGA in 2012!

  • Join ACGA or renew your membership
  • Tell a friend about ACGA
  • Invite fellow gardeners to join ACGA
  • Participate in a teleconference or conference
  • Make a donation to support the work of ACGA
  • Encourage colleagues to attend the August 2012 ACGA Conference
Click on to learn more!

Contact Information

ACGA Staff:
Beth Urban, Executive Director
Laura Lavid, Programs Manager
Vicki Garrett, Project Coordinator
Barbara Love, AARP Administrative Assistant

ACGA Toll Free number: 877.ASK.ACGA (275.2242)

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