Serving Communities in South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas

Community Resources Connection (CRC), Inc. Cultivating the Community
Garden Award Application Guidance Document

Application Period – October 1 – December 30, 2023
Award Notifications will be posted on the CRC website by February 5, 2024

Program Goals:

Community Resources Connection has collaborated with the United States Department of Agriculture to increase availability of fresh fruits and vegetables within underserved communities.   This collaboration supports the Department of Agriculture’s goal to feed all Americans.  This award is only for the states of South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Community garden awards will be up to $10,000.00 for the purchase of only garden materials and supplies to establish a community garden or expand an existing garden.  Eligible community groups and organizations that have mutual interest and goals to increase access to local fresh healthy foods and food choices are invited to apply for funding.

Applicant Eligibility:

  • Non-Profit with or without IRS 501 c3 status
  • Independent School Districts (Including home school groups)
  • Native American Tribal governments and groups
  • Native American groups
  • Faith-based organizations
  • City and townships
  • County governments

Program Requirements:

  • If your organization does not own the land in which the community garden will be located, you will need to submit a written statement from the landowner giving your organization permission to utilize the property for the duration of the agreement with CRC. The permission statement should include the address where the community garden will be located and the period in which your organization will have access to the garden location.
  • Conduct initial public meeting to invite local stakeholders to discuss plans to establish a community garden. Local stakeholders can include, but not limited to local citizens, local government officials, special interest groups, faith-based organizations, Scout Leaders, local school representatives, etc.
  • Form a garden team to include members of awarded organization, members of the community, Extension Service educators, master gardeners, local youth groups and any individuals interested in gardening and would like to assist with planning, laying out and establishing the community garden. (This action can be combined with the bullet above.)
  • Conduct community workdays and plan at least one of those days as a media day to invite local media, schools, community leaders, local businesses, etc. to participate.
  • Purchase all materials and supplies needed to establish and manage the garden and garden activities.
  • Install USDA Project signage to include the name of your garden and other local partners who will be contributing to the success of the gardening Project.
  • Plant garden in calendar year of 2024.
  • Explain how you propose to sustain the garden for future years.
  • Work with your local University Extension Service or Master gardeners’ partners to teach participants how to incorporate effective gardening techniques and to encourage gardening practices that protect natural resources, such as water quantity and quality, soil quality and pest management.
  • Submit required reports to CRC by the designated deadline dates
  • Submit one success story to CRC by the designated deadline unless specific arrangements are made with CRC for an alternative submission date. The success story is to include photos and garden activities that took place throughout the project period.
Application packets are to be Fully completed and submitted by
December 30th, 2023, by 11:59 pm

Application packet is to include:

  • Completed and signed CRC-USDA Grant Application Form
  • Specific garden supply budget to identify how the funds will be used (to include garden supplies only)
  • 2 letters of support from community leaders and or organizations
  • Copy of lease or written statement from the owner(s) of the land giving your organization permission to use the land where the community garden will be located (not applicable if the applicant owns the land where the garden will be located)
  • Name and contact information of University Extension Service Agent or another qualifying garden educator who has agreed to assist your organization with its garden project.

Grant Proposals must be complete and submitted by the deadline date to be considered.

Application packets can be submitted by mail to:

Community Resources Connection, Inc.
USDA Community Garden Award
P.O. Box 2394
Lexington, SC 29071
or
email completed application packet to: [email protected]. Sample file naming format. (PraiseBaptistChurch_2023) Organization name and current year.
For additional questions referencing the Cultivating the Community Garden application process, please contact us at:
[email protected]