Union County Freeholder Vice Chairman Sergio Granados and Freeholders Bette Jane Kowalski and Angel G. Estrada presented “Union County Kids Dig In!” grants to representatives from 32 schools in 12 county municipalities during a ceremony at the Hamilton Stage in Rahway. The grant assistance covers establishing/building of gardens, garden boxes and/or tools and equipment. It is aimed at educating students about gardening and fostering the growth and creation of community gardens at the schools.
The County presented the Union County Kids Dig In! grant program to each school district through its Open Space Trust Fund, offering a total of just under $40,000 in grant assistance through revenues from golf fees administered through the fund.
The grant program covers produce gardens including vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, herbs and spices, pollinator-attracting plants and plants for pest management. It does not cover ornamental plants or non-producing gardens.
Gardens must agree to set aside 30% of their harvest for community donation and enroll in Come Grow With Us!, a free countywide information and resource sharing network for community gardens.
The program is the second community gardening initiative the County has initiated in the past two years. Last year, Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen announced the Union County Means Green Community Gardening grant program to community gardening organizations. The program will also be renewed this year.