Since 2009, the Greater Greenville Master Gardener Association has funded service and education programs in Upstate of South Carolina through the Ellen Hilderbrand Community Grant Program.
Our grants support new organizations, as well as proven programs. We fund school gardening programs, community gardens, and beautification projects as well as a host of other projects. All of our grantees encourage knowledge and promotion of gardening and horticultural education for our community.
AWARDEES OF ELLEN HILDERBRAND MEMORIAL GRANTS FOR 2019
On November 19, 2019, Evelyn Onofrio, Chair of our Grants Committee, presented the names of the seven recipients of the 2019 grants to the Executive Committee.
Greenville County Parks and Recreation Funding is to purchase four weatherproof message boards for four Greenville Recreation Community Garden locations: The Pavilion in Taylors, East Riverside Park in Greer, Conestee Park in Greenville, and Trailblazer Park in Travelers Rest. The message boards will be used for communications to garden members who do not frequently use email or social media and to post garden newsletters and education information.
Greenville County Parks and Recreation Funding will provide improvements to gardens that the Youth Gardening Club Programs maintain at Mount Pleasant Community Center, Sterling Community Center, and Brutontown Community Center. Improvements include the purchase of 4’ x 4’ cedar raised beds for each site and soil amendments for each site.
Greer Middle College Charter High School Funding is for the implementation of a Monarch Habitat Garden as part of the school garden. There are approximately 480 students at Greer Middle College Charter High School, and they will have the opportunity for hands-on learning in this garden through science classes, nutrition classes, and afterschool programs. The funds will be used to purchase seeds and plants for a monarch habitat, gardening tools, and soil amendments.
Mental Health America of Greenville County, Hillcrest Heights Community Garden, Simpsonville Funding will arrange for a garden for the grounds of a housing complex managed, owned, and operated by Mental Health America of Greenville County. This project will include supplies needed to plant and maintain flowers and vegetables, which will enhance the living experience of the residents. Residents will be encouraged to participate in the planting and maintenance of the garden. Funds will be used to purchase materials for three raised beds (4’x 4’), soil amendments, and plants.
NEXT High School Funding will furnish an additional Tower Garden system for the science lab. The Tower Garden stands 5 feet tall and holds 20 plants. It uses a state-of-the-art vertical aeroponic growing system. This system recycles nutrients and water, using less than 10% of the water of a traditional garden. Approximately 240 students, the entire student body, will benefit from this project. The Tower Garden will allow students to study plants at a deeper level and learn about new technologies to better the environment. The students will study the growing process from start to finish, no matter the weather. GGMGA funded the first Tower Garden in 2018.
Nicholtown Community Garden Funding is for the re-creation of the Nicholtown Community Garden. The garden occupies nearly 0.25 acres adjacent to the Nicholtown Community Center and a Greenlink stop. The garden was founded in 2010 and farmed for the benefit of Nicholtown residents by Mr. Eddie Byrd, a longtime Nicholtown resident. Mr. Byrd retired in 2018, and the garden fell into disrepair. In the spring of 2019, a survey of the 39 Nicholtown residents was taken. From the survey results, the community elected to reinvest in the garden. Donations of time and supplies were contributed by the City of Greenville, Sustaining Way, Simeon Farms, and several Nicholtown neighbors. The garden harvested several hundred pounds of summer produce in 2019. Going forward, the Nicholtown residents envision a pay-what-you-can system, with an emphasis on assisting the most food-insecure neighbors. The residents also see the garden as a place where old and new residents can learn from, and about, one another. Funding consists of equipment to maintain the garden and harvest produce. Included in the request are hoes, spading forks, rakes, wheel- barrow, 5-gallon buckets, seeds, soil amendments, frost blankets, and a storage shed for tools and supplies.
Pleasant Valley Connection Funding is for a small garden located in front of the signage at the entrance to Pleasant Valley Connection. The chairperson will enlist the help of students to plant annuals and perennials within the garden space. Pleasant Valley Connection is a part of Greenville County Head Start Program and operates entirely from donations. They receive funds from United Way and other donors. Materials include soil amendments, weed control fabric, trowels, bulb planters, watering cans, garden gloves, perennials, and annuals for seasonal color.
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