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Chicago Urban Gardening

The day to day experiences of a University of Illinois Extension Urban Horticulture Educator in Chicago, Illinois

GreenNet Mini-Grants Program

Posted by Ron Wolford -

What is the purpose of this program?

This GreenNet mini-grants program is supported by Prince Charitable Trusts to help urban gardeners working in publicly accessible green spaces receive funding for gardening materials and activities.

What is needed to qualify for a grant?

Projects must be located in Chicago in a schoolyard, community garden, or other community greening project. Applicants:

Must own or have permission to use the land

Must represent a group such as a block club, garden club, faith-based group, school or other youth group.

Applications will only be considered for existing (rather than proposed) gardens or greening projects that need additional materials, programming, or other support. Applications should indicate that gardens demonstrate sustained and regular use. Tell us how important your garden is to your group and surrounding community!! Beautification projects without evidence of participation from the community or student body are not likely to be funded.

What can be funded?

As in prior years, grant money may not fund an entire project, but may provide a jump-start to further fundraising. Carefully consider alternative options for your project should you only get some – not all - of the money you request. Your grant money could buy seeds or plants, lumber or mulch, compost bins, buckets, nails, schoolbooks that promote gardening, or even a garden festival for the community.

How much money will be available?

These grants are intended to fund a small project or a special part of a larger project. Last year, awards ranged from $100 to $1000. Grant proposal requests should demonstrate that gardeners have considered creative economical use of available resources to accomplish their garden's goals. Your proposal should show active, involved participation by gardeners. The mini-grants evaluation team has extensive knowledge of garden pricing and feasibility and will evaluate the amount requested for its intended use. Therefore, it is best to request a close approximation of costs, rather than a higher, hoped-for award.

Any other questions?

A GreenNet Mini-Grant workshop will take place in the front classrooms of the Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park, on Thursday, March 2 @ 6:30 p.m. This is the best opportunity to ask questions about this grant and the application process.

What are the important dates and deadlines for the GreenNet Mini-Grants?

Thursday, March 1, 2007 6:30 P.M. - Grant writing workshop; question and answer session

Thursday, March 15, 5:00 P.M. - Application Deadline

Week of April 9, 2007 - Grant notification letters sent out

Thursday, April 19 1-7 P.M. - Check pick up, downtown at Openlands, see address below.

Fill out the attached three-page form and return (postmarked or hand-delivered) by the deadline: March 15 - 5:00 P.M. No applications will be accepted after that time, and we will not accept any faxed applications.


GreenNet Mini-Grants Program

c/o Openlands, 25 E. Washington, Suite 1650

Chicago, IL, 60602

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