Three grant options are available to accommodate a wide range of garden projects and engage all levels of skill, from beginning to experienced gardeners. Gardeners may apply for more than one grant.
Option 1: Start a New Garden ($1,250.00). Option 1 provides a simple, economical way to start a new garden. As grant administrator, the nonprofit organization Groundwork Elizabeth provides a complete garden package including installation of new beds along with soil, seeds or seedlings, tools, materials and follow-up support. Applicants can specify raised beds, Earth Boxes, or waist-high “senior” beds.
Option 2: Garden Improvements ($500.00). Option 2 provides materials and equipment needed to complete a new garden, or enhance an existing garden. Qualifying purchases include but are not limited to soil, compost, new beds (including raised beds, senior beds and Earth Boxes), irrigation, fencing, tools, benches/tables (for social engagement and education), seeds, seedlings, saplings, harvest supplies, storage bins and sheds. The grant cannot be used for decorative items, food/drink, advertising/outreach, etc.
Option 3: New Garden Innovations (award varies). Option 3 is designed to bring leading trends in community gardening and urban agriculture to Union County residents.
- Start a Pollinator Garden ($750.00). This is a pre-budgeted package developed by Groundwork Elizabeth. It includes installation and support. These gardens include pollinator-attracting herbs and vegetables.
- Start a Hydroponic Garden ($3,000.00) This is a pre-budgeted package developed by Groundwork Elizabeth. Groundwork will provide delivery, setup and follow-up support.
- High Tunnel Installation (up to $2,000.00). This award is intended for experienced gardeners who have already obtained a US Department of Agriculture grant for high tunnel installation. The USDA grant typically covers 80 percent of the cost and the Union County grant would cover the remainder of the cost, up to $2000.*
*High tunnels are raised crop coverings that increase yields by extending the growing season. They also help to prevent erosion, retain moisture, and reduce weeds and pests. Under its Natural Resources Conservation Initiative, USDA promotes high tunnels for use in community gardens and urban farming as well as in traditional farming.