March 27, 2009

Spruce Up Your Neighborhood

Interested in Getting Some Money for a Garden?

Is there a space near you that could use some tender loving care? A parkway or corner or playlot or street that could be greened up? Are you willing to do the work but could use a little financial assistance to jump start the project? The Rogers Park Garden Group Adopt the Public Way Grants Program is poised to help.

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In 2008, the RPGG started a small grants program to provide financial (and inspirational) support for small gardening projects located along the public way in Rogers Park. Individuals, businesses, groups of volunteers – really anyone – is eligible to apply for a small grant, up to $200, for the improvement of public spaces relating to the neighborhood’s public way through gardening or landscaping enhancements anywhere between Devon Avenue to Juneway Terrace, and from Ridge Avenue east to the lake. All you need is a site and the desire.

In 2007, Adopt the Public Way grants were used by Family Matters to fill the planters at Gale School where children had great fun playing in the dirt and playing with worms under the watchful eye of Sophie Nyanue.

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Karen McCarthy of the RPGG, and John Eskandari of Gethsemane Garden Center, by neighbors Wynn Shawver and Julie Orlandi to help spruce up the Goldberg Playlot at Greenleaf and Ravenswood, and by the Devon Avenue Green Team of volunteers to return the parkway planters along Devon Avenue between Broadway and Clark, to their former glory.

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Not only do these grants provide funding for public gardening projects, they also inspire neighbors, businesses, and organizations to work together to green Rogers Park so that all might enjoy more blooming beauty during our too short spring and summer seasons. Who doesn’t smile when they see a blooming parkway?

Applications are being taken now through May 15, 2009, and it’s really easy. Just download the instructions and application by visiting our website where you will see a link on the home page to the downloadable form. Grants in amounts up to $200 will be awarded at the Tuesday, May 26 RPGG meeting at 7 pm at Rogers Park Presbyterian Church at the corner of Greenleaf and Greenview. Apply for a grant, come learn about Urban Farming from the folks at Growing Home, and perhaps get some funds for a garden project that will make Rogers Park an even more beautiful place.

From Pamela Van Giessen

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